Penn National Gaming, Inc. is an operator of casinos and racetracks, based in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. As of 2012, it owns and operates 26 facilities in 18 states, and manages one casino in Canada.
The company traces its roots to Penn National Race Course, which opened in 1972 in the Harrisburg suburb of Grantville, Pennsylvania.
The company was incorporated as PNRC Corp. in 1982, and changed its name to Penn National Gaming, Inc. in 1994.
In 2003, Penn National bought Hollywood Casino Corp. for $328 million plus $360 million in assumed debt, gaining casinos in Aurora, Illinois; Tunica, Mississippi; and Shreveport, Louisiana.
In 2005, Penn National acquired Argosy Gaming Company for $2.2 billion making it at the time the third largest publicly held gaming company in the country (behind MGM Mirage and Harrah's Entertainment).
In November 2006 Penn National Gaming failed in an attempt to acquire Harrah's Entertainment. The deal to purchase Harrah's fell through, and Harrah's was eventually taken over by two private equity firms.
In 2007 it acquired the Zia Park racino in Hobbs, New Mexico for $200 million.
An attempt in 2007 to take company private with a $6.1 billion buyout fell through with prospective buyers, New York-based Fortress Investment Group and Centerbridge Partners.
In November 2012, Penn National announced a plan to spin off 17 of its 29 properties in a new real estate investment trust (REIT), in an effort to reduce taxes and cost of capital, and overcome license ownership restrictions. The REIT would also pursue sale-and-leaseback transactions with other casino operators. The spin-off was completed on November 1, 2013, creating Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc.
In February 2013, Penn National agreed to sell the Bullwhackers Casino in Black Hawk to an investor group led by casino developer John Zimpel.
In April 2015, the company agreed to purchase the Tropicana Las Vegas for $360 million.
In August 2016, the company agreed to purchase Rocket Games for $60 million.
In May 2017, Penn National acquired the operating assets of Bally's Casino Tunica and Resorts Casino Tunica for a total of $44 million, and leased the two casinos from GLPI, which had simultaneously purchased their real estate assets.