Golden Markets: Golden Nugget Online Signs Partnership Deal with New York’s Tioga Downs Racetrack

Author Thomas Wolf
March 1, 2021 3 min read

Golden Nugget Online has become the second US-based online operator to sign a deal in the state of New York – despite the state not having legal online gaming just yet.

Golden Nugget Online has signed a 20-year first option deal to provide an online site for Tioga Downs Racetrack, should online betting or casino gambling become legal in the state in the future.

The first deal in the state was signed earlier this week by national operator Penn National and New York casino resort Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady.

This new deal shows Penn’s confidence that a legal market will come to fruition in NY is not just a one-off leap of faith.

Key to Growth

Golden Nugget Online’s President Thomas Winter was positively gushing about the market potential.

“We are very excited to sign this long-term partnership with Jeff Gural and Tioga Downs. New York is key to our growth strategy and we look forward to the state embracing online gaming,” he said.

Golden Nugget’s press release for the deal suggests that they think New York could become one of the biggest online casino markets, with a $2 billion revenue once it reaches maturity.

The company also thinks the current entire US legal market of eight states is worth around $10 billion annually. So, New York would be one of the major players if the figures do pan out like that.

The state of 19.5 million residents already has legal sports betting, but only in person at four different certified venues across the state.

One of those venues is racetrack Tioga Downs. Owner Jeff Gural also has gambling interests across the US, including Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

While any New York legal market will probably take a minute to reach the heights of New Jersey’s booming online revenues, Mr. Gural is exceedingly bullish about its prospects.

“I’m confident GNOG will bring an exciting product to my home state of New York and together we will generate excellent new revenue streams for GNOG, Tioga, and the state of New York”

Mr. Gural

State-Backed or Open Market?

However, it’s by no means certain that any companies will get to operate online sports betting or casinos in the state if the rumors about Governor Cuomo’s stance on the matter are correct.

Although he is publicly in favor of legalizing online sports betting, various public statements pin Cuomo’s preferred plan for legal online sports betting on a state-backed lottery-type provider instead of an open market.

Governor Cuomo

“Many states have done sports betting, but they basically allow casinos to run their own gambling operations. That makes a lot of money for the casinos but makes minimal money for the state. I’m not here to make casinos a lot of money. I’m here to raise funds for the state. So, we have a different mode for sports betting” Governor Cuomo told the NY State Assembly in January.

State-backed single operator sports betting can work – but other states have shown that it can be a tough sell to customers.

Washington DC’s state-backed GamBetDC, run by troubled Greek provider Intralot, was roundly beaten on revenue figures by physical sportsbooks in the state – despite pandemic restrictions.

For the latest updates on any potential legal online market in New York, plus much more from around the gambling world, keep checking

Author Thomas Wolf


Thomas Wolf

409 articles

Thomas Wolf is our editor in chief. With an extensive background in online gambling (both working for casino operators and game studios) as well as an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, he's a proper authority on online casinos. When not running the day to day operations or reviewing new operators Thomas is a blackjack aficionado with some seriously big wins recorded at land-based casinos in both Las Vegas, Monaco and Macau.

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