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Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG) founder Thomas Winter has announced his departure from his role as the general manager of DraftKings North America. 

Winter has decided to step away from his responsibilities to embark on a sabbatical journey, marking the end of a remarkable chapter in his career.

In a message shared on LinkedIn, Winter stated: “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 originally founded GNOG in 2013. Under his leadership, GNOG achieved the top position as the number one online gaming operator in New Jersey in 2018, boasting an impressive 18% market share. 

One of the major milestones in Winter’s career was taking the company public on the Nasdaq in December 2020. 

DraftKings acquisition

Later, in August 2021, DraftKings acquired GNOG in a monumental $1.5bn transaction, and the merger was successfully completed in May 2022.

Subsequently, Winter assumed the role of general manager of North America for iGaming at DraftKings. 

In his departure message, Winter expressed gratitude towards his colleagues and partners, which included DraftKings founders Jason Robins, Matt Kalish and Paul Liberman, as well as CBO Ezra Kucharz and CFO Jason Park.

He praised their understanding of the benefits of a multi-brand strategy and their trust in GNOG as the right addition to deliver on it.

While Winter’s departure marks the end of an era, he expressed confidence in the future of both DraftKings and Golden Nugget Online Gaming. 

“Although I’ll miss the action, I can’t wait to see what the amazing DK/GNOG casino team, led by uber-talented Gregory Karamitis and superstar Signe Yama, will deliver to stay atop the US iGaming world for years to come. I’ll be rooting for y’all,” he said.

Before his tenure at Golden Nugget and DraftKings, Winter spent four years at Betclic Group, where he served in various leadership roles.

From July 2010 to December 2011, he held the positions of CEO and director at Betclic and Expekt. Prior to that, he played a key role as COO at both businesses.

Winter has expressed uncertainty about his future career steps, emphasising his desire to prioritise spending quality time with his wife and children, travelling, and dedicating time to improving his fitness and well-being.

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