Penn National Gaming Incorporated Set to Start Operation in Maryland

Penn National has recently completed a deal to acquire the operations of Hollywood Casino in Perryville. The deal between Penn National and Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. (GLPI) is that the casino will be acquired for $31.1 million, with a lease from GLPI for $7.7 million per year.

Pending the approval of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission, the deal will close next summer. After which, the Wyomissing-headquartered firm will take over the running operations of the casino in Perryville. When all is said and done, Maryland will be the 20th state in the US where Penn National will be operational in.

The CEO of Penn National, Jay Snowden, in a statement, has expressed his delight with the agreement with Gaming Leisure and Properties Inc. He was more pleased to announce that this is the twentieth state they will be operational in if all goes according to plan. Excerpts from his statement read, “Penn National Gaming Incorporated is excited to acquire the operations of Hollywood Casino Perryville, which will allow us to re-enter the strong Maryland gaming market and add a 20th gaming jurisdiction to our leading nationwide footprint. In addition, with the recent approval of sports betting through the overwhelming passage of Question Two on Election Day, Maryland is expected to soon become significant retail and mobile sports betting market. As such, this acquisition provides another opportunity to expand our unique omnichannel platform with a Barstool-branded retail sportsbook and mobile app.”

Voters in favor of sports betting

The election last month saw Maryland voters vote in favor of legal sports betting. The vote suggested that the residents approve of legal sports betting and is now in the hands of the General Assembly to set it rolling. A structure, revenue sharing ratio among operators and state, operators that can get a license, among others, are decisions that need to be made before the launch of legal sports betting. Once the legislation is enabled, Maryland will join neighbors like Delaware, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, and West Virginia in offering sports betting. Analysts have also projected annual revenue of $18.2 million for the state once sports betting is legal. That amount can be achieved if the operators are taxed 20%, and the legalization covers in-person and online sports betting.

Looking back, the Perryville Hollywood Casino was developed by Penn gaming in 2010, making this acquisition more of re-entry into Maryland. Penn National lost ownership following its split into casino operations, leaving Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc as owners in 2013.

The number of properties will rise to forty-two in twenty states when this detail falls through. Currently, Penn National offers retail and online gaming services across nineteen states, having about 50,000 gaming machines, 8,800 hotel rooms, and 1,300 table games.

Gaming Leisure Properties Incorporated also went into an agreement earlier this month to handle the operation of Belle of Baton Rouge riverboat casino and hotel in Louisiana. CQ Holding Company recently purchased the property from Caesars Entertainment. Details of the transaction were not revealed by either party. Despite the challenges posed by the covid-19 pandemic, both companies are ending the year on a high note.


Logan is based in Los Angeles and is an avid poker player having played in tournaments across the globe. He covers both poker & regulatory affairs.