Penn National Gaming Acquiring Operations of Hollywood Casino Perryville in Maryland

Posted on: December 15, 2020, 08:19h.

Last updated on: December 15, 2020, 10:04h.

Penn National Gaming has entered into an agreement with Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. (GLPI) to acquire the operating rights of Hollywood Casino Perryville in Maryland.

Penn National Gaming Hollywood Casino Perryville
Penn National Gaming Hollywood Casino Perryville
Hollywood Casino Perryville, seen here, is returning to its original operator: Penn National Gaming. (Image: Penn National Gaming)

Penn National will pay GLPI $31.1 million in an all-cash deal that is expected to close in the middle of 2021. GLPI, the real estate investment trust of the Pennsylvania-based casino operator, will additionally collect $7.77 million in annual rent from Penn.

Penn National developed Hollywood Casino Perryville in 2010. It was sold to GLPI during a corporate restructuring and the formation of the real estate investment trust in 2013. GLPI operated the casino over the past seven years.

Hollywood Casino Perryville is one of Maryland’s three smaller resort-style gaming properties. Of the more than $1.75 billion Maryland’s six commercial casinos reported in gross gaming revenue last year, Hollywood Perryville accounted for $139.7 million — just an eight percent market share.

Hollywood Perryville was Maryland’s first casino to open, with the first bet placed in 2010. Today, the gaming space offers 800 slot machines, 13 table games, and eight poker tables.

Sports Betting Expands

In November, Marylanders passed a ballot referendum to add sports betting to the state’s list of approved gambling. Question 2 received the support of more than 1.3 million voters, with less than 671,000 in opposition.

Question 2 was essentially a shell bill that simply asked residents if they wanted to join neighbors Delaware, West Virginia, DC, Pennsylvania, and Virginia in allowing legal sports betting. With the referendum passed, state lawmakers will craft the licensing process and regulations that will govern the expanded gambling. One expected detail is that licensed sportsbooks will be able to accept bets online.

Penn National’s purchase of Hollywood Casino Perryville is likely much more about entering the new sports betting state than it is the physical casino floor.

With the recent approval of sports betting through the overwhelming passage of Question 2 on Election Day, Maryland is expected to soon become a significant retail and mobile sports betting market,” said Penn National Gaming CEO Jay Snowden.

In January, just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Penn purchased a 36 percent stake in Barstool Sports for $163 million. The Barstool Sportsbook app is currently operational in Pennsylvania and Michigan. Snowden says the app will be available in every legal sports betting state next year.

“As you get into 2021, I think you should expect for us to be in every state that’s legal where we operate and can launch by the end of 2021,” Snowden revealed in October. “We’ll be in well over a dozen states by the end of the calendar year.”

Penn Regional Dominance

Sports betting is the fastest-growing component of the US gaming industry, and Penn National is positioned well to capitalize. The casino operator operates 41 properties across 19 states, those numbers increasing to 42 and 20 once the Hollywood Casino Perryville deal is completed.

Penn National currently does business in 11 states that have sports betting operational. Six additional states have passed sports betting laws and are expected to launch in 2021. Penn will have casinos in two: Louisiana and Maryland.

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