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Sports Betting ETF Adds Fertitta SPAC Ahead Of Golden Nugget Online's Nasdaq Debut

July 19, 2020 5:47 pm
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Sports Betting ETF Adds Fertitta SPAC Ahead Of Golden Nugget Online's Nasdaq Debut

The Roundhill Sports Betting & iGaming ETF (NYSE:BETZ) is again making some additions to its lineup.

What Happened: BETZ, which debuted in early June, added shares of Landcadia Holdings II, Inc. (NASDAQ:LCA) to its roster after the close of U.S. markets last Friday, marking another roster adjustment for the first and only sports wagering exchange traded fund.

Landcadia joins the BETZ lineup at a weight of 2.52%, just ahead of Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR), which will likely soon be folded into the ETF's allocation to Eldorado Resorts (NASDAQ:ERI), as the latter is close to finalizing its takeover of the Caesars Palace operator.

Why It's Important: The addition of Landcadia to the BETZ roster is notable for a few reasons. First, Landcadia is a special purpose acquisition company — SPAC — controlled by Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta.

SPACs, the vehicle by which DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) went public earlier this year, are scorching hot in 2020, particularly in the gaming business.

Second, due to index constraints, not many ETFs hold shares of blank check companies. Third, Landcadia already announced it's serving as a vehicle for Fertitta’s Golden Nugget Online Gaming to go public.

That company, which is one of the dominant iGaming names in the fast-growing New Jersey market, will list on the Nasdaq under the ticker “GNOG.”

What's Next: Shares of Landcadia are up more than 40% over the past month, a period including the GNOG announcement.

Although the SPAC's shares have retreated off the most recent highs, the stock surged 9.15% last Friday on news that GNOG landed a partnership with the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, the operator of Ojibwa Casino.

That paves the way for GNOG to offer internet casinos and online sports wagering in Michigan, a state that's expected to a major player in the sports betting arena.

Michigan is the first state beyond New Jersey that GNOG is entering, but Landcadia previously said it expects to procure licensing to offer iGaming and sports betting in Pennsylvania next year. The Keystone State is home to some of the fastest-growing online casino and sports betting markets in the U.S.

Landcadia's acquisition of GNOG is expected to close sometime in the current quarter. The transaction assigns a proforma enterprise value of $745 million to the online gaming entity.

As for BETZ, the ETF is less than two months old and already has $97 million in assets under management, making it one of the most successful thematic launches this year.

Disclosure: Todd Shriber owns shares of DraftKings.

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