The dominoes for Maryland sports betting are starting to fall. Hollywood Casino Perryville will become a Penn National Gaming (PNG) property again, perhaps clearing the way for Barstool Sportsbook in the state.
On Thursday, PNG announced that regulators in the state had given their approval to the acquisition. A lot of regulatory work remains, but this is at least a theoretical market access point for the PNG-backed sports betting app.
Details of the Hollywood Casino Perryville transaction
In December 2020, Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. (GLPI) entered into an agreement to sell the casino’s operations to PNG, the company that originally developed the property in 2010. The price of those assets was listed at $31.1 million at the time. GLPI isn’t out of the picture now, though.
GLPI will continue to own the actual property, but PNG will run the casino. Part of PNG’s operating costs will be more than $7 million in annual rent, paid to GLPI. The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency‘s final approval of the transaction represents the last regulatory abatement in closing the sale.
PNG expects to have complete control of operations within a few months. What could that mean for regular visitors? For the most part, it’s too early to tell. So far, PNG hasn’t made any announcements about any consumer-facing changes.
Guests will have to watch for announcements over the coming weeks about whether their Club Hollywood rewards will carry over to PNG’s mychoice program, for example. At this point, it’s likely that PNG won’t discontinue any offerings at the casino.
PNG might alter some items and add others, though. Perhaps the biggest potential addition to the facility would be a retail sportsbook. That might be in the works, but it’s not going to happen overnight.
Might Perryville feature a Barstool Sportsbook soon?
PNG owns more than a third of the Barstool sports betting platform. In many of its other properties, PNG has gone with that branding for retail sports betting operations. That’s likely going to be the case in Perryville as well.
However, that’s speculative right now. PNG and Barstool would both have to receive regulatory approval from the lottery. Upon receipt, though, it would merely be a matter of time until Barstool becomes available in MD for both online and retail wagering.
The retail book might be available as soon as this fall, which would coincide with the start of the 2021-22 NFL season. Some in the state expect mobile apps to be live by the end of this year. All of that is assuming the regulatory process goes smoothly.
Barstool joins BetMGM Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook as likely entrants into MD, assuming licensure. BetMGM has a deal with the Baltimore Ravens, while FanDuel has one with the Washington Football Team.
With the MD Gaming Commission working on draft regulations for sports betting, PNG should be ready to apply for sports betting licenses as soon as possible. That points toward Barstool possibly being among the first operators in the new MD market.