PNG gains regulatory approval to close Hollywood Casino Perryville deal

Penn National Gaming has received final approval from the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission to acquire the operations of Hollywood Casino Perryville.

The casino operator had previously expressed that completion of the deal, which provides market access to its 20th state, would occur during the early part of the year’s third quarter. The transaction is now expected to close in mid-2021, subject to customary closing conditions.

PNG entered into a definitive agreement with Gaming and Leisure Properties in December 2020 to acquire the operations of Hollywood Casino Perryville for $31.1m in cash, subject to certain customary working capital adjustments. 

Simultaneous with the closing of the transaction, the firm will enter into a lease with GLPI for the real estate assets associated with the facility with annual rent of approximately $7.77m.

“I want to thank the Commission and their staff for their time and effort in reviewing and approving our company’s license to operate Hollywood Casino Perryville,” said Jay Snowden, president and CEO of Penn National.

“We are thrilled to be re-entering the Maryland market at a property we developed in 2010 as it will add a twentieth gaming jurisdiction to our already leading nationwide footprint.

“In addition, we’re equally excited to be entering this market following the legalisation of sports betting in Maryland a few weeks ago. This acquisition provides another opportunity to expand our unique omni-channel platform with a Barstool-branded retail sports book and mobile app.”

Last month, Maryland lawmakers gave the green light to legislation permitting as many as 60 online operators and 30 class B licenses for retail sportsbooks. The retail count would be spread largely between casinos and professional sports stadiums. 

Both major retail and online sportsbooks will be expected to pay a 15 per cent tax, while secondary retail licenses will be subject to a 13 per cent levy on GGR. To get in on the action, major retailers will also be required to pay a license fee of $250,000, falling to $50,000 for smaller retailers.

The annual charge for major operators has been set at $50,000, while their smaller counterparts will pay $10,000. The application cost for online sportsbooks is $500,000 followed by an annual levy of $100,000.