The Greenbrier and Golden Nugget Set West Virginia Partnership in Small Market

Posted on: November 23, 2020, 09:57h. 

Last updated on: November 23, 2020, 01:59h.

The Greenbrier, a historic luxury resort located in the Allegheny Mountains in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va, has reached yet another partnership with an internet gaming and sports betting platform.

The Greenbrier West Virginia sports betting
The Greenbrier, seen here, is now partnered with three online gaming platforms — FanDuel, BetMGM, and Golden Nugget. (Image: The Greenbrier)

The Greenbrier announced today that it’s teaming up with Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG). The arrangement, subject to regulatory approval in the Mountain State, will allow GNOG to offer mobile sports betting and online casino games to people inside West Virginia.

Billionaire Tilman Fertitta called it an “important milestone for the Golden Nugget online gaming expansion plans.” Fertitta is the owner of the Landry’s dining, hospitality, entertainment, and gaming empire, which includes Golden Nugget casinos in Nevada, New Jersey, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

Entry into the West Virginia sports betting market isn’t necessarily a goldmine. Due to the state’s small population — 1.8 million people, which ranks it No. 39 — sports betting handle totaled just $44.6 million last month. By comparison, oddsmakers in Nevada, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey took in more than $500 million in bets in their most recently disclosed revenue months.

Justice Serves Gaming

West Virginia gamblers certainly have a friend in Gov. Jim Justice (R). The billionaire has long championed the economic benefits of legal gambling.

The coal mining tycoon came to the rescue of The Greenbrier in 2009 after the resort filed for bankruptcy, and listed debt up to $500 million. Justice purchased the property for $20 million, with the goal of keeping as many West Virginians as possible employed by the resort.

Justice successfully convinced state lawmakers to allow The Greenbrier to incorporate a casino into the facility. A subsequent local referendum narrowly passed in November of 2008. Today, the Casino Club is open to overnight resort guests, members of The Greenbrier Sporting Club and Golf & Tennis Club, and event attendees.

Justice became governor in 2017, and gambling in the state has since further expanded.

The US Supreme Court decision to strike down the prohibition of sports betting came in May of 2018. West Virginia lawmakers that same year passed legislation to allow its casinos to take sports bets. Though Justice did not sign the bill, he permitted it to become law.

The following year, West Virginia became just the second state behind New Jersey to legalize full-scale online casinos, including slot machines and table games, as well as sports betting. Again, Justice allowed the legislation to become law without his signature.

Greenbrier All-In on Gaming

The Justice family continues to own The Greenbrier and has capitalized off the state’s expanded gaming under their patriarch’s governorship.

The Greenbrier Casino Club today offers 320 slot machines and 37 table games. The gaming venue additionally has a FanDuel sportsbook.

Along with its physical sportsbook, FanDuel has a deal with The Greenbrier for online sports betting. BetMGM, the mobile sports betting platform of MGM Resorts, does as well.

Golden Nugget is the third interactive gaming platform to reach a deal to conduct online gambling through a partnership with The Greenbrier. The arrangement allows GNOG to offer mobile sports and online casino gambling through The Greenbrier’s gaming license in West Virginia.

The Greenbrier will collect a share of GNOG’s gross gaming revenues from both internet sports betting and casino games.