The Penn National Gaming acquisition of Las Vegas-based Pinnacle Entertainment makes it the largest regional gaming operator in the United States.  Penn premerger has approximately 35,000 gaming machines, 800 table games, 4,600 hotel rooms, five Thoroughbred or Quarter Horse racetracks, and five harness tracks in the United States and Canada.

The $2.8 acquisition of Pinnacle will add $2 billion in revenue, increase the number of gaming facilities and racetracks from 31 to 41, and boost the number of employees from 19,000 to 35,000.  In 2016, Penn had revenue of over $2.6 billion and 2017 has seen record revenue growth.

Pinnacle Entertainment owns three racetracks:  Belterra Park in Cincinnati, Ohio, Retama Park near San Antonio, and The Meadows in Washington, Pennsylvania not far from Pittsburgh.  Penn will keep the latter two and is selling Belterra Park to Boyd Gaming.  Boyd already owns two racetracks in Louisiana, Delta Downs and Evangeline Downs.

Penn National Gaming began with a single racetrack in 1972 to become the company today with the most horse-racing tracks in the United States.  The overall portfolio of tracks can accurately be described as casino-oriented and workaday.  With the exception of Sam Houston Race Park near Houston, Texas and the soon-to-be-acquired Retama Park, the rest of Penn’s racetracks are integrated with casinos and are located in the Northeast and Midwest, where they operate throughout the cold winters.  Penn recently opened brand-new cold-weather racetracks in Ohio, a harness track near Dayton, and a Thoroughbred track close to Youngstown.  The Penn racetracks do not offer much in the way of graded stakes.

Although Penn National’s racetracks do not have the name recognition of the major Thoroughbred racetracks in the United States, they do a great service for the American breeding and racing enterprise by providing places for owners and trainers to race their horses that can’t compete at the highest level of competition.  In fact, Penn racetracks are indispensable to the Thoroughbred and Standardbred American bloodstock businesses.

Copyright © 2017 Horse Racing Business