Golden Nugget Online Gaming Founder Thomas Winter Leaving DraftKings

Written By Drew Ellis on October 8, 2023
Golden Nugget online casino founder leaving for new adventures

Golden Nugget Online Gaming founder Thomas Winter announced earlier this week that he is leaving the company.

A decade after founding GNOG, which built itself up in the online gaming industry and was purchased by DraftKings 18 months ago, Winter has decided it was time to step away.

Building GNOG from the ground up, Winter leaves a lasting legacy, helping two online casinos in Michigan build their brand.

Winter built GNOG into billion-dollar company

Winter made the announcement of his departure on his LinkedIn profile.

“Ten years after founding Golden Nugget Online Gaming, three years after taking it public and two years after its acquisition by the almighty DraftKings Inc., time has come for me to close this extraordinary chapter of my life and open a new one, this time focused on the latter part of work-life balance,” Winter posted.

GNOG was founded in September of 2013 by Winter, and built into the leading online casino in New Jersey before the company went public in 2020.

DraftKings initially stated its intension to acquire GNOG in August of 2021 before completing the deal in May of 2022 for $1.56 billion.

Winter stayed on with the company as General Manager of North America iGaming, helping DraftKings build on its status in the national market.

“So many good memories come to mind, from taking GNOG from dead last to number 1 online casino in New Jersey, to opening the first live dealer studio in the US, being voted Casino Operator of the Year four years in a row, spinning off GNOG then taking it public, merging with DraftKings and having the privilege of leading the two brands to become, together, the US #1 online casino operator,” Winter said.

Winter also indicated the DraftKings/GNOG team would go on to be led by Gregory Karamitis and Signe Yama.

Golden Nugget Casino the strength of GNOG

Though under ownership of DraftKings, Golden Nugget still operates an online casino and sportsbook in the state.

Golden Nugget Casino and Golden Nugget Sportsbook exists in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia on top of Michigan.

Over Michigan’s lifetime of legalized online gambling, Golden Nugget accounts for just 0.3% of the online sportsbook handle market share.

Golden Nugget Casino Michigan has had much greater success, owning 4.5% of the online casino revenue market share. GNOG has generated $178.7 million in Michgian online casino revenue since January 2021.

In 2023, Golden Nugget Casino has seen 16.2% revenue growth through the first eight months of the year compared to 2022. Golden Nugget has $55.6 million in revenue this year.

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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis is the Lead Writer of PlayMichigan, the No. 1 source for online gambling news in Michigan. A lifelong resident of the state, Ellis has been working in various forms of media since 1998, including more than a decade in the sports betting industry prior to transitioning into US casino markets in 2020.

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