Eventually it will be crab cakes and “Stoolies” for sports betting in Maryland as Penn National Gaming announced Tuesday it will re-enter the state via an operations acquisition of Hollywood Casino in Perryville.
The $31.1 million cash transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2021. Upon closing the deal, Penn National Gaming will enter a lease agreement with Gaming and Leisure Properties to cover the annual rent of approximately $7.77 million. The deal is subject to the approval of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission.
“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, said in a statement.
Sports betting in Maryland became legal in November when voters responded “yes” to Question 2 by a nearly 2-to-1 margin on a referendum asking them if they backed expanding commercial gaming, which included sports wagering.
PNG angling to expand Barstool footprint
Penn National Gaming took a bullish tone in its statement of acquiring the Perryville property. Maryland was the last remaining jurisdiction in the mid-Atlantic to legalize sports wagering, completing the “DMV” triangle with Washington, D.C. and Virginia, and will join neighboring states Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia in offering sports betting.
Snowden appeared poised to leverage Penn National’s partnership with Barstool Sports, which made its first entry into sports betting via the online market in Pennsylvania in September and opened its first retail sportsbook in November at Ameristar Casino Resport Spa Black Hawk in Colorado.
PNG completed an acquisition for a 36% stake in Barstool Sports for $163 million in February and has taken a deliberate process in rollouts to legal jurisdictions. The Stoolies flag is next expected to fly in Michigan, where online sports wagering could commence as early as mid-January.
“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 noted. “As such, this acquisition provides another opportunity to expand our unique omni-channel platform with a Barstool-branded retail sportsbook and mobile app.”