Penn lauds transformational year as US expansions remain on-track

Pennsylvania headquartered casino and racetrack operator Penn National Gaming has praised a successful year as the firm provides updates on a number of strategic growth strategies. 

Publishing a Q4 and full-year financial update the company, which recently secured a 36 per cent $163m stake in Barstool Sports, saw revenue and EBITDAR increases across both timeframes.

Jay Snowden, president and chief executive officer, updated on the barstool acquisition: “This investment creates a unique opportunity, allowing us to execute on our 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. 

“Barstool Sports is an ideal partner as it will allow us to attract a younger demographic that is complementary to our existing customer base. Barstool Sports’ 66 million monthly unique visitors, its significant reach and the loyalty of its audience will lead to meaningful reductions in customer acquisition and promotional costs.”

Revenue for the fourth quarter jumped a little over 16 per cent to $1.34bn (2018: $1.15bn), helping push its 2019 total to $5.3bn, representing a significant 47.7 per cent rise from $3.58bn.

Adjusted EBITDAR for the quarter increased 23.3 per cent from $323.9m to $399.4m, while on a full-year basis a 53.8 per cent rise finished at $1.60bn (2018: $1.04bn).

“This past year has been transformational for Penn National, our team members and our shareholders and we are proud of what our team has accomplished in 2019,” Snowdon added. 

“We completed the integration of Pinnacle Entertainment, which added 12 new gaming properties and three new states to our portfolio and over 10,000 new team members to the Penn National family.”

Adding on ongoing Pennsylvania casino projects: “We are proceeding on track with the development of the $120m Hollywood Casino York and the $111m Hollywood Casino Morgantown projects (both inclusive of the gaming license fees). 

“We anticipate opening our Morgantown facility in November of this year. As for our York facility, we received final licensing approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board last December. Our intention is to open the York facility before year-end with 500 slot machines and 24 table games.”