What happened

Tilman Fertitta's company Landcadia Holdings II (LCA), which owns online casino Golden Nugget Online Gaming, just started trading on Nasdaq today. And it appears that investors are excited: At the close, shares were up 14.2% on the day.

So what

Landcadia was created by Fertitta to purchase Golden Nugget Online Gaming in June. Golden Nugget is an online gambling company that offers casino gambling and sports wagering, although notably not on the NBA's Houston Rockets, which Fertitta owns.

Hand placing chips on a gaming table.

Image source: Getty Images.

While there are several publicly traded companies that operate physical casinos, aside from DraftKings (DKNG 1.08%), Landcadia is the only publicly traded U.S.-based online gambling company.

And if you find the Landcadia name to be confusing, you'll be pleased to know that the company's name will eventually be changed to Golden Nugget, with a stock symbol (GNOG) to match.

Now what

Currently, Landcadia is initially valued at $745 million despite only being operational in New Jersey. The company plans to expand the Golden Nugget online gambling operations to Pennsylvania and Michigan in 2021 and could eventually expand much further.

While this may sound like a rich valuation for a new company with a limited geographic reach, consider that DraftKings has a current market capitalization of $11.5 billion. So if Fertitta is successful in expanding the reach and user base of Golden Nugget, the company's initial valuation could turn out to be a bargain.