DANVILLE — Danville’s casino application was expected to be submitted Friday to the Illinois Gaming Board and another big announcement also was made — the casino is going to be branded a Golden Nugget casino.

According to a press release, Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Danville Development, LLC for market access to the State of Illinois for online sports wagering and I-gaming (when legalized). According to the agreement, Golden Nugget, LLC will enter into a joint venture agreement with Wilmot Gaming Illinois, LLC to build a new casino in Danville, Illinois, pending obtaining all regulatory approvals.

The casino, when opened, will be branded Golden Nugget and feature a Landry’s restaurant steakhouse. Danville Development is a joint venture between Wilmot and GN Danville, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Golden Nugget.

“It’s part of the application,” Danville Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. said of the Golden Nugget branding. “I’m pretty excited about it being connected to a national brand now.”

He said those who are part of the Golden Nugget Player’s Club can earn points at the various Golden Nugget-branded casinos around the country.

“It will be a benefit to us when people come here and earn points. That will help be a bigger draw,” he said.

There’s a number of Golden Nugget casinos all over the country, and they’re very nice-looking, Williams added.

Williams said some spelling and grammar-type comments have been incorporated from local officials into the new casino application, after it was reviewed.

According to Jimmy Wilmot, vice president of gaming with Wilmorite, they were hopeful to submit the application Friday. The majority of the application, as well as the payment, is done online. Renderings for the casino also haven’t changed since the August presentation to the Danville City Council.

According to a press release, under the agreement, GNOG holds the exclusive right to offer online sports wagering and, if permitted by law in the future, online casino wagering. In addition, GNOG has committed to provide a $30 million mezzanine loan to Danville Development for the development and construction of the casino. GNOG’s market access agreement is for a term of 20 years and requires GNOG to pay Danville Development a percentage of its online net gaming revenue, subject to minimum royalty payments over the term.

“Wilmot is pleased to deliver Golden Nugget and GNOG to the City of Danville and is excited to partner with Tilman J. Fertitta. The Golden Nugget is a nationally recognized brand and strengthens the submission, provides additional opportunities, and upgrades the overall project. The Wilmot family would also like to personally acknowledge the efforts and support of the city council and Mayor of Danville, IL; without their diligence and attention to detail this project would not be possible,” Wilmot said, through the press release.

“This is Golden Nugget’s first joint venture on a casino project, and we are honored to be the one selected amongst numerous bidders for this opportunity by the Wilmot family after a highly competitive process. Having the ability to grow the Golden Nugget brand in Illinois in both the online and land based markets is an exciting opportunity,” said Tilman J. Fertitta, owner and CEO of Golden Nugget and GNOG, through the press release.

Thomas Winter, president of GNOG added, “we are thrilled to gain market access in Illinois, the 5th most populous U.S. state and the largest to have regulated mobile wagering to date. This is a tremendous opportunity for us to further increase our U.S. footprint and deliver on our ambitious growth plans. We look forward to bringing our award-winning online offerings to the Prairie State.”

Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Inc. is a leading online gaming company that is owned by a company owned by Tilman J. Fertitta. It is considered a market leader by its peers and was first to bring Live Dealer and Live Casino Floor to the U.S. online gaming market. GNOG was the recipient of 15 eGaming Review North America Awards, including the coveted “Operator of the Year” award in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Golden Nugget, LLC, indirectly wholly-owned by Tilman J. Fertitta, through subsidiaries and affiliates, currently operates five Golden Nugget Hotels and Casinos in Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nevada; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Biloxi, Mississippi; and Lake Charles, Louisiana. Golden Nugget’s subsidiary, Landry’s, LLC, is a national, diversified restaurant, hospitality and entertainment company engaged in the ownership and operation of high-end and casual dining restaurants, as well as other specialty hospitality and entertainment businesses.

Wilmot Gaming Illinois, LLC, is a privately held subsidiary of Wilmorite, a leading family owned and operated commercial real estate and casino development and management company. The casino development portfolio includes First Council Casino, Oklahoma, Harrah’s Northern California, and Del Lago Casino, NY.{/span}

According to an Associated Press article in June, Tilman J. Fertitta and Landcadia Holdings II, Inc. announced that Landcadia II entered into a purchase agreement to acquire Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Inc., a U.S. online real money casino owned by Tilman Fertitta. Landcadia II is a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company co-sponsored by Fertitta Entertainment, Inc. and Jefferies Financial Group Inc.

GNOG was to become only the second pure publicly traded online casino company in the U.S. The transaction was expected to close in the third quarter of this year. Upon closing, Landcadia II changed its name to Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Inc. and its Nasdaq trading symbol to GNOG.

“GNOG is one of the best positioned companies to capitalize on this massive online gaming opportunity in the U.S.,” said Rich Handler, co-chairman of Landcadia II and CEO of Jefferies LLC. “We at Jefferies couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with Tilman and bring this great opportunity to the public markets.”

Golden Nugget is a household name throughout the U.S. and its iGaming business is a well-established leader in New Jersey, the largest online gaming market in North America. GNOG also has obtained market access, subject to regulatory approval, to Pennsylvania and Michigan and anticipates launching its online casino brand in each of those new markets in early 2021.

GNOG is known among its industry peers as the preeminent operator in the U.S. online gaming market, having won the EGR North America Top Operator Award for consecutive years. GNOG is known for its innovation, including initiating Live Dealer, Live Casino Floor gambling and a number of exclusive slot machine games to mobile devices, tablets and computers throughout New Jersey, as well as its top-notch 24/7 customer support.

Tilman J. Fertitta will remain GNOG’s chairman and CEO, and Thomas Winter, who was brought in to develop Golden Nugget’s online gaming business, will continue to serve as GNOG’s president. During the seven years since Thomas Winter started Golden Nugget’s iGaming business in New Jersey, revenues and profitability have grown each year despite facing competition with greater financial resources.

According to Fertitta, “Golden Nugget is one of the most time-honored brands in the gaming business today. When customers hear the name Golden Nugget, they know they are dealing with a trusted online gaming business. Thomas and his team have done a remarkable job, are the best in the industry, and with this transaction, will have access to growth capital to allow for the rapid expansion of the business.”

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