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Penn National Gaming, Inc. is an American operator of casinos and racetracks, based in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. It operates 43 facilities in the United States and Canada, many of them under the Hollywood Casino brand. Penn formed a corporate spin-off in November 2013 called Gaming and Leisure Properties.

Penn National Gaming
Traded as
HeadquartersWyomissing, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Key people
  • Peter M. Carlino (Chairman)
  • Timothy J. Wilmot (CEO)
  • Jay Snowden (President & COO)
Revenue$3.1 billion (2017)[1]
$445 million (2017)[1]
$473 million (2017)[1]
Total assets$5.2 billion (2017)[1]
Total equity($73 million) (2017)[1]
Number of employees
18,754[2] (2017)



Background and early history (1968–1994)Edit

In 1967, Pennsylvania enacted a law allowing thoroughbred horse racing with parimutuel wagering.[3] Two companies that would later form part of Penn National Gaming were founded in 1968 by groups seeking one of the four available racing licenses: Pitt Park Raceway, Inc., formed by several Erie area businessmen,[4][5] and the Pennsylvania National Turf Club, established by a group of Central Pennsylvania investors.[6][7] The Turf Club was awarded one of the licenses, and soon began construction on Penn National Race Course.[8][7] The complex included a motor speedway, which held its first races in 1971,[9][10] and the horse track, which opened in 1972.[11][12]

Pitt Park Raceway, meanwhile, was denied in its initial application, but received one of a second round of licenses issued in 1970.[5][13] The first Pitt Park racing meet opened in 1971 at The Meadows, an existing harness racing track.[14] Pitt Park lost half a million dollars in its first meet, leading its owners to sell the company to a group of investors, including Philadelphia insurance businessman Peter D. Carlino.[15][16] After another unsuccessful season at The Meadows, Pitt Park changed its name to the Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association and moved to Penn National Race Course. [17][18] Starting in 1973, as a tenant of the Turf Club, Mountainview held 100 nights of racing there each year.[18][19]

In 1982, Carlino purchased Penn National Race Course from the financially struggling Turf Club.[20][21] The Turf Club would continue to operate its own racing meet each year, now as a tenant of Carlino.[21]

The companies involved with Penn National Race Course were reorganized in 1994 in preparation for an initial public offering.[22] PNRC Corp., which had been incorporated in 1982, was renamed as Penn National Gaming, with Mountainview and the Turf Club as its subsidiaries.[22] Carlino's son, Peter M. Carlino, who had earlier managed Mountainview, was Penn National's first CEO,[23][24] a position he would hold until 2013.[25] Penn National Gaming went public on the NASDAQ exchange; $18 million was raised to pay down company debts and fund construction of off-track betting parlors.[26][27]

Expansion (1996–present)Edit

Penn National expanded beyond its first racetrack with the acquisitions of Pocono Downs in 1996, Charles Town Races in 1997, and, in 1999, a half interest in Freehold Raceway and the operations of Garden State Park.[28]

The company acquired its first standalone casino properties in 2000, buying Casino Magic Bay St. Louis and Boomtown Biloxi from Pinnacle Entertainment for $201 million.[29] This was followed in 2001 by the acquisition of Carnival Resorts & Casinos, including ownership of Casino Rouge in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and the management contract for Casino Rama in Ontario.[30][31] Next, in 2002, it bought the Bullwhackers Casino in Black Hawk, Colorado from the Hilton Group for $6.5 million.[32]

In 2003, Penn National bought Hollywood Casino Corp. for $328 million plus $360 million in assumed debt, gaining three casinos in Aurora, Illinois; Tunica, Mississippi; and Shreveport, Louisiana.[33] The acquisition, which would double Penn National's revenues, was part of a continuing strategy to shift away from the horse racing business and into the casino business.[34] The company planned to rebrand its other properties under the Hollywood Casino name.[34]

In 2005, Penn National acquired Argosy Gaming Company for $1.4 billion plus $791 million in assumed debt, adding five casinos and one horse track to its portfolio (not including the Argosy Baton Rouge, which was quickly sold to satisfy antitrust concerns).[35][36] The purchase again doubled Penn National's size, making it, at the time, the third largest publicly held gaming company in the country (behind MGM Mirage and Harrah's Entertainment).[37]

In November 2006, a deal for Penn National Gaming to acquire Harrah's Entertainment fell through.[38]

In 2007, Penn National acquired the Zia Park racino in Hobbs, New Mexico for $200 million.

An attempt in 2007 to take company private with a $6.1 billion buyout fell through for prospective buyers Fortress Investment Group and Centerbridge Partners.[39]

In November 2012, Penn National announced a plan to spin off a new real estate investment trust (REIT) with ownership of most of its properties, in an effort to reduce taxes and cost of capital, and overcome license ownership restrictions.[40][41] The REIT would own the land and buildings for 21 of Penn National's 29 casinos and racetracks; Penn National would continue to operate all but two of the properties under a lease agreement.[42] The spin-off was completed on November 1, 2013, creating Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. (GLPI).[43]

In July 2013, Penn National sold the Bullwhackers Casino to a local investor group.[44][45]

In April 2015, the company agreed to purchase the Tropicana Las Vegas for $360 million.[46]

In August 2016, the company agreed to purchase Rocket Games for $60 million.[47]

In May 2017, Penn National acquired the operating assets of Bally's Casino Tunica and Resorts Casino Tunica for a total of $44 million, and leased the two casinos from GLPI, which had simultaneously purchased their real estate assets.[48][49]

In October 2018, the company acquired Pinnacle Entertainment for $2.8 billion in cash and stock.[50][51] To ensure regulatory approval for the deal, Pinnacle sold four of its properties to Boyd Gaming prior to the merger.[50][52] The result was the addition of twelve new properties to Penn National's holdings, all of them leased from GLPI. In connection with the sale, Penn National sold the real estate of Plainridge Park Casino to GLPI for $250 million.[53]

In 2019, Penn National made two purchases in conjunction with Vici Properties. Penn National bought the operating businesses of the Margaritaville Resort Casino in Louisiana and Greektown Casino–Hotel in Detroit for $115 million and $300 million, respectively, while Vici bought both properties' real estate assets and leased them to Penn.[54][55]


Owned and operatedEdit

Leased or managedEdit



  1. ^ a b c d e Form 10-K: Annual Report (Report). Penn National Gaming. March 1, 2018. p. 46 – via EDGAR.
  2. ^ Form 10-K: Annual Report (Report). Penn National Gaming. March 1, 2018. p. 20 – via EDGAR.
  3. ^ "Flat races come to Pa". Philadelphia Daily News. December 12, 1967 – via
  4. ^ "Pitt Park Raceway legal notice". Pittsburgh Press. October 8, 1968 – via
  5. ^ a b "East gets 4 tracks, District falls flat". Pittsburgh Press. November 20, 1968 – via
  6. ^ "Horse track group formed". The Express. Lock Haven, PA. AP. March 26, 1968 – via
  7. ^ a b "Central Pa.'s first horse track may open in August". Lebanon Daily News. UPI. March 28, 1970 – via
  8. ^ "Racing board awards four tracks today". Lebanon Daily News. AP. November 20, 1968 – via
  9. ^ Tiny Parry (June 23, 1971). "Penn National auto race track opening July 17". Lebanon Daily News – via
  10. ^ Tiny Parry (July 19, 1971). "Overflow crowd attends opening of Penn National". Lebanon Daily News – via
  11. ^ "PN track has necessary ingredients". Lebanon Daily News. UPI. August 30, 1972 – via
  12. ^ "Asphalt Road wins feature at PN track". Lebanon Daily News. September 9, 1972 – via
  13. ^ William Deibler (January 1, 1971). "Fort Pitt gets W. Pa. flat racing OK". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – via
  14. ^ Jimmy Jordan (October 12, 1971). "'Plow' gets big share of 'Park' feature". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – via
  15. ^ Al Abrams (February 23, 1972). "The Pitt Park story". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – via
  16. ^ "Pitt Park sale confirmed". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. April 13, 1972 – via
  17. ^ "Pitt Park seeks move". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. November 23, 1972 – via
  18. ^ a b "Mountainview opens at PN Friday night". Lebanon Daily News. March 28, 1973 – via
  19. ^ "Financially-hit Penn National track to be sold". The Sentinel. Carlisle, PA. UPI. September 2, 1982 – via
  20. ^ Ernest Tollerson (October 26, 1982). "Revised bill submitted to spur sale of Garden State". Philadelphia Inquirer – via
  21. ^ a b Don Clippinger (November 24, 1982). "Horse racing panel back in action". Philadelphia Inquirer – via NewsBank.
  22. ^ a b Form 10-K: Annual Report (Report). Penn National Gaming. March 28, 1997. p. 39 – via EDGAR.
  23. ^ Form 10-K: Annual Report (Report). Penn National Gaming. March 28, 2001 – via EDGAR.
  24. ^ Louis Graham (April 2, 1998). "Penn National has its $15 million at the ready". The Commercial Appeal. Memphis, TN – via NewsBank.
  25. ^ Brent Burkey (November 14, 2013). "Execs depart posts at Penn National Gaming for spin-off company". Lehigh Valley Business. Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  26. ^ Nick Horvath, Jr.; Adam Bell (April 27, 1994). "Penn National aims to cash in on a gambling law". The Patriot-News. Harrisburg, PA – via NewsBank.
  27. ^ Tom Dochat (May 28, 1994). "Penn National shares at $10". The Patriot-News. Harrisburg, PA – via NewsBank.
  28. ^ Form 10-K: Annual Report (Report). Penn National Gaming. March 20, 2000. pp. 10 & 46-47 – via EDGAR.
  29. ^ Form 10-K: Annual Report (Report). Penn National Gaming. March 28, 2001. p. 2 – via EDGAR.
  30. ^ Timothy D. May (July 31, 2000). "Penn National buys riverboat casino in Louisiana". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
  31. ^ Form 8-K: Current Report (Report). Penn National Gaming. May 7, 2001 – via EDGAR.
  32. ^ "Bullwhackers sale completed". Denver Post. April 26, 2002 – via NewsBank.
  33. ^ "Penn completes Hollywood Casino buy". Dallas Business Journal. March 4, 2003. Retrieved 2012-07-19.
  34. ^ a b Bill Bergstrom (August 30, 2002). "Penn going Hollywood, expanding dramatically". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  35. ^ Tom Dochat (October 4, 2005). "Penn National nets 3 casinos in Argosy Gaming deal". The Patriot-News. Harrisburg, PA – via NewsBank.
  36. ^ Form 10-K: Annual Report (Report). Penn National Gaming. February 29, 2008. pp. 77–78 – via EDGAR.
  37. ^ Suzette Parmley (September 30, 2005). "Penn National gets OK for deal". Philadelphia Inquirer – via NewsBank.
  38. ^ "Penn National mulls Harrah's takeover bid". Archived from the original on December 1, 2006. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  39. ^ USA Today: Penn National Gaming agrees to $6.1B deal. Retrieved June 15, 2007
  40. ^ Howard Stutz (November 17, 2012). "Penn planning to split in two". Las Vegas Review-Journal – via NewsBank.
  41. ^ Dimitra Defotis (November 16, 2012). "Penn National Gaming hits jackpot". Barron's. Retrieved 2012-11-16.
  42. ^ Howard Stutz (October 8, 2013). "Penn National to begin spinoff of real estate holdings". Las Vegas Review-Journal – via NewsBank.
  43. ^ Jamison Cocklin (November 2, 2013). "Penn National forms spin-off company for tax breaks on real estate". Youngstown Vindicator. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
  44. ^ Andy Vuong (February 14, 2013). "Johnny Z's developer to acquire Bullwhackers casino in Black Hawk". Denver Post. Retrieved 2013-04-27.
  45. ^ Form 10-K: Annual Report (Report). Penn National Gaming. February 27, 2014. p. 3 – via EDGAR.
  46. ^ Kimberly De La Cruz (April 29, 2015). "Penn National to buy Tropicana for $360 million". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2015-04-29.
  47. ^ "Penn National Gaming Acquires Leading Social Casino Game Developer, Rocket Games, for $60 Million in Accretive Transaction | Business Wire". Retrieved 2016-12-16.
  48. ^ Form 10-Q: Quarterly Report (Report). Gaming & Leisure Properties. May 3, 2017. p. 8 – via EDGAR.
  49. ^ Form 10-Q: Quarterly Report (Report). Penn National Gaming. May 3, 2017. p. 23 – via EDGAR.
  50. ^ a b Todd Prince (October 15, 2018). "Penn National Gaming completes $2.8B acquisition of Pinnacle". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  51. ^ "Penn National Gaming completes acquisition of Pinnacle Entertainment" (Press release). Penn National Gaming. October 15, 2018. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  52. ^ "FTC requires casino operators Penn National Gaming, Inc. and Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. to divest assets in three Midwestern cities as a condition of merger" (Press release). Federal Trade Commission. October 1, 2018. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  53. ^ "Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. announces completion of acquisitions and lease modifications to accommodate the acquisition of Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. by Penn National Gaming, Inc" (Press release). Gaming and Leisure Properties. October 15, 2018. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  54. ^ Stacy Wescoe (January 3, 2019). "Penn National acquires Louisiana casino operations". Lehigh Valley Business. Retrieved 2019-01-13.
  55. ^ "Vici Properties Inc. completes acquisition of Greektown Casino-Hotel and lease to Penn National Gaming" (Press release). Vici Properties. May 23, 2019. Retrieved 2019-05-26 – via BusinessWire.
  56. ^ Form 10-K: Annual Report (Report). Penn National Gaming. February 28, 2019. p. 42 – via EDGAR.
  57. ^ a b Howard Stutz (January 13, 2014). "Penn National Gaming starts work on $360 million California project". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2018-10-17.
  58. ^ a b Paul J. Gough (May 14, 2014). "New Meadows owner has short history, familiar name, big growth plans". Pittsburgh Business Times. Retrieved 2018-10-17.
  59. ^ Michele Parente (May 29, 2018). "Hollywood rebrands as Jamul Casino". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  60. ^ Form 10-K: Annual Report (Report). Penn National Gaming. March 15, 2006. pp. 54–55 – via EDGAR.

External linksEdit