Penn National Gaming changes name

Wyomissing-based Pen National Gaming has changed its name. 

The company, which is a provider of integrated entertainment, sports content and casino gaming experiences and operates 44 properties in 20 states, as well as online sports betting will now be known as PENN Entertainment Inc. 

Jay Snowden, president and CEO of the company announced the change during his second quarter financial report. 

“Today is an exciting day for us as we become PENN Entertainment Inc.m” he said. “Over the past few years, PENN has transformed our business through a highly differentiated strategy focused on organic cross-sell opportunities, which is reinforced by our investments in market-leading retail casinos, sports media assets, owned technology, including a state-of-the-art, fully integrated digital sports and online casino betting platform, and an in-house iCasino content studio. Our new name maintains ties to our legacy while better reflecting our evolution into North America’s leading provider of integrated entertainment, sports content and casino gaming experiences.” 

Penn National to purchase Maryland casino’s operations for $31M

Penn National Gaming has entered a definitive agreement to purchase a Perryville, Maryland casino’s operations for $31.1 million.

The Wyomissing-based regional gaming company said on Tuesday that it plans to acquire the operations of Hollywood Casino Perryville in Maryland and will be entering a lease for the casino’s real estate assets for an annual rent of $7.77 million.

The transaction is expected to close sometime next year, subject to approval from the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission.

Jay Snowden, president and CEO of Penn National, said that the deal will add a new jurisdiction to the company’s 41 property, 19 state footprint.

“Penn National is excited to acquire the operations of Hollywood Casino Perryville, a property we developed in 2010, which will allow us to re-enter the strong Maryland gaming market and add a twentieth gaming jurisdiction to our leading nationwide footprint,” said Snowden, president and CEO of Penn National.

Maryland residents recently voted to allow sports betting throughout the state thanks to a question on Maryland’s voting ballot on Election Day. The company said that it expects the state to become a significant retail and mobile sports betting market as a result of that vote.

“As such, this acquisition provides another opportunity to expand our unique omni-channel platform with a Barstool-branded retail sportsbook and mobile app,” said Snowden.

Penn National Gaming bets on digital platforms, omni-channel revenue recovery

After suffering a $608.6 million net loss during the first quarter of 2020, Penn National Gaming assured investors Thursday that its digital platforming and omni-channel growth strategy will help the company rebound from the COVID-19-caused recession.

One of the country’s most diversified and geographically expanded gaming companies, Penn National reported a $166.5 million year-over-year first-quarter revenue decrease after mandatory social distancing forced the closure of all 41 of its sites, company executives said in a Thursday morning call with investors. In 2019, first-quarter revenues came in at $1.282 billion, but in 2020, first-quarter revenues came in at $1.116 billion.

The Wyomissing, Berks County-based gaming company’s first-quarter shortfall indicates the coronavirus recession’s claim on the hospitality and tourism industry as one of its primary casualties, Penn National officials told investors on May 7. But the company says that its diversified income model — with growth in the virtual gaming market and stake in digital sports media — will cushion losses and aid its long-term growth.

Jay Snowden, Penn National Gaming’s president and CEO, said the company had strong momentum at the start of 2020 with the introduction of retail sports betting services and the acquisition of a 36% stake in digital sports media company Barstool Sports. Snowden told investors the Barstool acquisition led to an all-time high stock price for Penn National.

“That momentum was cut short in mid-March by the COVID-19 pandemic, which required the temporary closure of all 41 of our properties,” he said. “While we have faced unprecedented challenges in recent weeks, we are confident that the Company’s long-term growth strategy remains intact, supported by our differentiated omni-channel approach.”

Snowden said the company’s “mixed” first-quarter results have “reinforced” its “investment thesis” in Barstool Sports, which reportedly saw a 20% increase to its blog traffic and a 50% increase in video views.

The company launched its wholly owned sports betting “iCasino” product in the commonwealth, which reportedly has garnered a newer and younger consumer demographic, that “highlights the lack of cannibalization iCasino has had on our brick-and-mortar business in the first quarter,” Snowden said.

“Our experience in Pennsylvania has reinforced our view that our casino operating prowess and database will be a significant competitive advantage as additional states authorize iCasino over the coming years — particularly when combined with the potential for significant iCasino cross-sell from the Barstool Sportsbook,” Snowden said.

In 2020, Snowden said the company expects digital sports betting to proliferate along with legislation that allows states to maximize tax revenues from the emerging virtual gaming industry.

“While the last several weeks have been challenging for the company, our team members and the entire industry, we remain firmly convinced of the long-term potential of our highly differentiated omni-channel approach,” he said.

Penn National Gaming to ring NASDAQ stock market bell tomorrow

Penn National Gaming, the country’s largest regional gaming operator, said this week it will ring the NASDAQ Stock Market closing bell on Feb. 27.

Jay Snowden, president and CEO of the Wyomissing-based game operating company, will be joined tomorrow in Time Square by Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy and Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini to ring the commemorative closing bell to signify the end of a trading day on the stock exchange.

“We look forward to ringing the closing bell to help commemorate the successful closing of our acquisition of a 36% interest in Barstool Sports,” Jay Snowden, president and CEO of Penn National Gaming, in an official company statement.

“This investment represents a significant milestone in our company’s ongoing strategy to evolve from the nation’s largest regional gaming operator to a best-in-class omni-channel provider of retail and online gaming and sports betting entertainment,” he said.

Wyomissing’s Penn National buys piece of Barstool Sports for $163M

Barstool Sports is a digital sports media company, founded in 2003 by David Portnoy, that delivers original content across blogs, podcasts, radio, video and social media. –

With sports betting becoming a larger portion of the casino industry’s income, Penn National Gaming of Wyomissing has entered an agreement to acquire a 36% interest in Bar Stool Sports Inc. for $163 million in cash and convertible preferred stock.

Barstool Sports is a digital sports media company, founded in 2003 by David Portnoy, that delivers original content across blogs, podcasts, radio, video and social media.

Under the agreement, Penn National will be Barstool Sports’ exclusive gaming partner for up to 40 years and have the sole right to utilize the Barstool Sports brand for all of the company’s online and retail sports betting and iCasino products.

“This exciting new partnership with Barstool Sports reflects our strategy to continue evolving from the nation’s largest regional gaming operator, with 41 properties in 19 states, to a best-in-class omni-channel provider of retail and online gaming and sports betting entertainment,” Jay Snowden, president and CEO of Penn National, said in a statement.

Snowden said he hopes the deal will help Penn National attract a new, younger demographic.

Penn National noted that after three years, Penn National plans to increase its ownership in Barstool Sports to approximately 50 percent with an incremental investment of approximately $62 million.

Penn National currently operates 41 facilities in 19 jurisdictions. The company also offers social online gaming through Penn Interactive and has a customer loyalty program with over five million active customers.

The Chernin Group, a media holding company, has owned Barstool sports since 2016. It is currently headquartered in New York City.

Berks mini casino receives state approval

Berks County is one step closer to getting its own mini casino — Hollywood Casino Morgantown.

Rendering of the proposed the Hollywood Casino Morgantown (Contributed)

The Pennsylvania Gaming Commission has approved the award of a Category 4 casino license to Penn National Gaming of Wyomissing, through its Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association.

In January of 2018 Penn National became the first casino operator to win a license bid.

Wednesday’s approval finalizes the award and was given after a review of the company during a hearing in Harrisburg.

Penn National plans to build the mini-casino just off the Morgantown exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The Category 4 Slot Machine License permits Penn National to operate between 300 and 750 slot machines.

The operator is also able to petition for permission to operate up to 30 table games for an additional fee of $2.5 million with the capability of adding an additional 10 tables games after its first year of operation.

According to Penn National’s presentation to the board it intends to build an 89,500-square-foot casino with a target opening date of late 2020.

It will have 750 slot machines and 30 table games with a planned expansion to 40.

There will also be sports betting and food and entertainment at the venue.

Penn National said it would have the equivalent of 250 full-time jobs.

The smaller casinos were authorized under a state expansion of casino-style gambling in October of 2017.