The Golden Nugget may be unable to participate in sports betting in New Jersey if a sports betting bill is approved by lawmakers of the state this week.
This week, lawmakers in New Jersey are taking a look at legislation involving sports betting. The state was instrumental in getting the option open to states in the US as their case involving the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was heard by the US Supreme Court last month and the court decided to rule in their favor. Now, states can begin to pass legislation, legalizing and regulating sports betting. New Jersey is one of many states reviewing a bill involving the activity and if a current bill under consideration moves forward, one Atlantic City casino may be left behind.
No Sports Betting for the Golden Nugget
Tilman Fertitta is a billionaire from Texas who has ownership in the Houston Rockets, an NBA team. He is also the owner of the Golden Nugget Casino. For the casino to be able to offer sports betting, Fertitta would have to give up his ownership of the NBA Team.
The proposed legislation in New Jersey involving sports betting will prohibit any casino from operating such gaming if any owner has 10% or more ownership in a sports team. Senator Stephen Sweeney is a main sponsor of a bill in the Senate that stated that provision was included in the bill to ensure the integrity of sports teams as well as the casinos offering the wagering options.
What Can Be Done?
So, if you own a casino in the state and have ownership in a professional sports team, what can you do? Technically, an operator of a casino can obtain a sports betting license, if the option is approved, and then they have one year to divest their stake in a professional sports team. If the individual does not get rid of their stake in the sports team before the deadline expires, then they could lose their sports betting license. Also, any money earned during that time from wagering may have to be paid back to the state.
Other casinos in the area have vested interests in sports teams but they do not seem to be affected by the bill. The Borgata Hotel Casino & spa along with three gaming venues owned by Caesars Entertainment should be able to offer sports betting.
The Caesars properties and the Borgata should be allowed to operate because they do not earn a big cut from their investments into sports. The owner of the Borgata, MGN Resorts International, has a stake in the WNBA team Las Vegas Aces. However, the team provides less than 1% of the MGM annual revenues.
For Caesars, the company is owned by Apollo Capital Management. This parent company was created by Joshua Harris, the main owner of the New Jersey Devils and the Philadelphia 76ers. Caesars will be able to stay involved with sports betting as the percentage of Harris’ stake in the company is under 10%.
It is expected that a decision will be made this week involving the sports betting legislation in New Jersey. It will be interesting to see what happens and if the Golden Nugget owner will choose to divest his interest in the NBA team, so he can see his property begin to offer sports betting options. chances are that he will offload the shares to be able to rake in the big profits that the sports betting promise to provide.