Penn National Gaming announced Tuesday that it has entered into an agreement with Gaming and Leisure Properties to acquire Hollywood Casino Perryville in Maryland for $31.1 million.
The deal provides the company with access and placement for its Barstool Sports brand when the Maryland sports betting market launches, which is expected in 2021. Maryland voters approved sports betting on Nov. 3.
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Lawmakers will need to set regulations for what is expected to be a robust online and retail market when the Maryland General Assembly returns in January.
“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 20th gaming jurisdiction to our leading nationwide footprint,” Jay Snowden, president and CEO of Penn National Gaming, said in the news release.
The deal is expected to close in mid-2021, subject to the approval of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission, the release said. When the purchase closes, Penn National will also enter into a lease with GLPI for the property with an annual rent of approximately $7.77 million.
“In addition, 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,” Snowden said in the release. “As such, this acquisition provides another opportunity to expand our unique omni-channel platform with a Barstool-branded retail sportsbook and mobile app.”
Barstool Gives Boost to Penn National
The Barstool Sportsbook app in Pennsylvania, where Penn National is based, went live on Sept. 18. It was the first state where the Barstool Sportsbook app became available.
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In its third-quarter earnings release in late October, Snowden said “nearly 48,000 people have registered through the app in Pennsylvania alone and, over the course of the first 37 days of operation, the app generated total handle of $78 million across 30,000 first-time depositors,” as of Oct. 24.
Penn National also it will start to introduce the Barstool Sportsbook app to other states, including Michigan, which is expected to launch in mid-January.
Barstool branded retail sportsbooks will also open in some Penn National casinos, including Greektown (Detroit), Ameristar East Chicago (Indiana) and Ameristar Black Hawk (Colorado).
Penn National has 41 properties in 19 states. In late January it purchased a 36% interest in Barstool Sports, becoming the digital company’s official gaming partner. The $163 million deal was for 40 years and Penn National has an option to increase its ownership stake to 50% after three years.