New Jersey’s Golden Nugget Has NBA Betting Privileges Restored

New Jersey’s Golden Nugget Has NBA Betting Privileges Restored

After losing hundreds of thousands in bets on NBA games during last season due to a ban, New Jersey’s Golden Nugget may benefit from a new law that would restore their NBA wagering rights.

Golden Nugget owner, Tilman Fertitta, also owns the NBA’s Houston Rockets.

A law in the state specifies that owners of professional sports franchises that also hold ownership stakes in casinos cannot allow betting with the league which they are involved.

New laws in both the New Jersey House and Senate look to create a workaround that would allow the Golden Nugget to once again take action on NBA contests.

In the New Jersey Assembly, lawmakers have proposed bill A5463, that would benefit Fertitta’s casino and any future casino owner who shares ownership in a pro sports franchise.

A5463 “permits the owner of 10 percent or more of member team of sports governing body to place or accept wagers on certain sports events in which other member teams participate.”

Since the New Jersey Assembly and Senate meet throughout the year, there is no urgency to pass the bill since the NBA season doesn’t start until late October.

What was the Reasoning Behind the First Bill Outlawing Cross Ownership?

In the first version of the New Jersey sports betting bill that passed days after the Supreme Court decision, casinos owned by individuals with ties to owning sports teams were banned from taking any bets.

Once Fertitta began to see the writing on the wall that the Golden Nugget would be left in the cold when it came to sports betting, he led a charge to reduce the penalty to just NBA bets.

Lawmakers relented and agreed to just ban the Golden Nugget from NBA wagering while allowing them to accept bets on all other approved sporting events.

After the first NBA season with legal wagering in New Jersey was complete, Fertitta went to work on a compromise like the one he has in Nevada.

Fertitta’s Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas can accept NBA bets on all teams except the Houston Rockets.

If either of the competing bills in the Assembly or state Senate pass, then the Golden Nugget in New Jersey would have similar restrictions like the Las Vegas location.

What Was the Economic Impact of the Golden Nugget’s NBA Betting Ban?

With the eye-popping revenue numbers that have surfaced each month from New Jersey, the inability to offer NBA betting hurt the Golden Nugget’s final numbers.

Last month, during the heavy betting season of the NBA Playoffs, the Golden Nugget limped across the finish line with just $30,000 in revenue.

For 2019, the Golden Nugget’s sports betting revenue mark stands at close to $163,000. A shockingly small number for a casino with name brand appeal.

The Golden Nugget’s anemic numbers are dwarfed when you compare them to FanDuel’s revenue total of more than $53 million for the same time frame.

If either bill passes, the Golden Nugget and Fertitta’s online partner, BetAmerica, would be able to accept NBA bets in time for opening day of the 2019-20 season.

The Golden Nugget hopes the new revenue stream will help get a bigger piece of New Jersey’s sports betting pie that brought in over $315 million in wagers last month.