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NV Licensee Profile: Golden Nugget Las Vegas

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This is one of a series of profiles covering companies that hold a license to participate in Nevada’s online gambling market.

The Golden Nugget is one of the most storied casinos in Las Vegas and around the world.

The one-time center of the gambling universe and hub of the poker world, the Golden Nugget has now become a secondary or even tertiary player in the Las Vegas hierarchy in recent years.

But the name and brand still carry a lot of weight with gamblers and especially poker players, and the Golden Nugget has been reinventing itself in recent years, scrapping the neon of old Las Vegas for a new, more modern, vision.

Details and Timeline of Golden Nugget LV’s Nevada License

Online poker operators are what most online poker players consider traditional poker sites. Operators will manage and run the site, and where necessary, will enter into an agreement with a software provider –which in the case of GNLV would be Bally Technologies.

Partnerships and role in Nevada market

Early on in the process, the Golden Nugget entered into an agreement with Bally Technologies, with Ballys providing the online poker platform (via their agreement with Amaya Gaming for the use of the OnGame Poker software).

The reason for the partnership on top of partnerships is that Amaya Gaming has not received a Nevada online poker service provider license, so through Ballys the company is able to offer their product to online operators in Nevada.

In addition to the Golden Nugget, ACEP will also be using OnGame poker software for their AcePLAY.com poker site, which seems to make Ballys and Amaya gaming a serious threat to other service providers like 888.

Company Overview

The Golden Nugget is located on Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas, far away from the prime real estate on the Las Vegas Strip, but being centrally located in the heart of Downtown Las Vegas comes with some advantages, even though the throwback area to Las Vegas’ early years is now mainly frequented by locals along with the nostalgic tourists.

The Golden Nugget was built way back in 1946. In the early 1970’s Casino mogul Steve Wynn bought into the Golden Nugget, and by 1977 he held a majority stake in the casino. Under Wynn, the Golden Nugget added high-end amenities and built a tower at the Nugget, earning the property the AAA Four-Diamond (GNLV) now under the control of Landry’s Restaurant it would seem that the Golden Nugget will also be part of the city’s future. During the 1980’s the Golden Nugget was synonymous with Las Vegas, and was considered one of the crown jewels of the city; a place where celebrities gathered, the best shows were hosted, and the biggest gamblers played.

Despite its downtown location and somewhat outdated theme, the Golden Nugget has undergone a revival of sorts in recent years, probably spurred-on by the poker boom, as nostalgic gamblers have visited the site of some of the greatest moments in poker history occurred. The revival has also seen the Golden Nugget start to update its property in an attempt to appeal to a younger crowd. Remarkably, the Golden Nugget is once again known for its poker room, hearkening back to the 1980’s when Bobby Baldwin ran the room and it was THE place to play poker in Las Vegas.

GNLV Power Players

  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO):  Barry A. Shier. Shier has a long history in the gaming world including a 16-year stint with Mirage Resorts and Golden Nugget inc. where he operated in various executive positions.

Golden Nugget’s Potential in other US markets

I feel like a broken record with these “potential in other markets” summaries, but the Golden Nugget’s future in other US markets is entirely dependent on the federal government and whether or not other states agree to enter into inter-state online poker compacts with Nevada.

The most likely scenario would be for states that do not have Gaming Control Boards to look to form partnerships with a state like Nevada whose regulatory bodies could be used for the licensing process. But, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here, and at this time GNLV’s future is solely in Nevada.

Related Links

GNLV Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/company/golden-nugget

GNLV Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/goldennuggetlv

GNLV Twitter: https://twitter.com/GoldenNuggetLV

GNLV Corporate page:  www.goldennugget.com

*Resources: www.wikipedia.org, www.businessweek.com, www.gnlv.com

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Steve Ruddock
- Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus for OPR is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.