Casino operator Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN) announced today that 30 of its 41 casino properties, or 73%, are now back open for business. After reopening Ohio and Pennsylvania sites today, the regional casino operator has resumed operations in 13 of the 19 states in which it operates.
In March 2020, the company closed all 41 of its properties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Subsequently, the company has “dramatically” reduced monthly expenses, worked with its principal landlord to receive rent credits in exchange for the sale of its Las Vegas Tropicana real estate assets, and worked with lenders to obtain relief on credit agreement covenants. In May 2020, the company also raised $600 million through a common stock offering and separate debt issuance. These actions, along with a previous partnership with mobile sportsbook app Barstool Sports, set the company up for a recovery as the economy continues to reopen.
Penn National says that it has implemented “comprehensive” safety protocols at its reopened casinos, including property-specific practices that are detailed at each corresponding website.
In February 2020, the company completed the acquisition of a 36% interest in online sports and entertainment platform Barstool Sports, for $163 million. The company believes this “omni-channel approach,” where the retail on-site sportsbooks complement the mobile version, as well as the addition of “iCasinos” to its offerings, will provide “significant” organic customer growth.
Penn National also completed the integration of the acquisition of Pinnacle Entertainment in 2019. The acquisition built out the company’s current footprint by adding 12 new gaming locations and three new states to its portfolio.