Penn National Receives Approval for Hollywood Casino Perryville
In December of 2020, Penn National Gaming had entered into an agreement to acquire the operations of the Hollywood Casino Perryville for $31.1 million in cash. They recently received final approval from the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission to proceed with completing the transaction.
Penn National Gaming operates 38 casinos and resorts as well as nine racetracks and off-track wagering locations, according to their website. They predominantly lease their properties, and Hollywood Casino Perryville is no exception, as Penn National will be paying Gaming and Leisure Properties $7.77 a year in rent.
Barstool Sports Partnership
In September of 2020, Penn National invested $163 million in Barstool Sports for a 36% stake in the sports media and iGaming company. They were primarily interested in the Barstool brand and the almost cult following it has attracted since its founding in 2003 by Dave Portnoy.
Since the completion of that acquisition, Penn National has branded its retail and mobile sportsbook under the Barstool flag. According to their President and CEO Jay Snowden, the recent approval of sports betting in Maryland would also provide additional value to Penn National’s acquisition of the Hollywood Casino Perryville.
“I want to thank the Commission and their staff for their time and effort in reviewing and approving our Company’s license to operate Hollywood Casino Perryville. We are thrilled to be re-entering the Maryland market at a property we developed in 2010 as it will add a twentieth gaming jurisdiction to our already leading nationwide footprint.”
“In addition, we’re equally excited to be entering this market following the legalization of sports betting in Maryland a few weeks ago. This acquisition provides another opportunity to expand our unique omnichannel platform with a Barstool-branded retail sportsbook and mobile app.”
Maryland is just one of the latest of 28 states to legalize sports betting since the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018. The ruling allowed all 50 states to decide for themselves whether to legalize wagering on sports, and the trend toward approval is methodically continuing.
Progress of Legal Sports Betting in States
There are a number of states that are still in the process of grappling with the details of pending legislation, particularly Texas, which appears about to table any further consideration of sports betting until their next legislative session two years from now. That’s a significant development for sports betting proponents who are looking at the state of 30 million residents as a huge opportunity.
Regarding Maryland, while they have approved sports betting, the details of how it will be implemented are still under development, with the state considering issuing as many as 60 licenses for the operation of a variety of retail and online sportsbooks. The most licenses that any other state has approved for issuance is 20 by New Jersey, so Maryland’s model is radically different from that of any other state that thus far has approved sports betting.
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