Penn National Gaming to acquire Prairie State Gaming

31 July 2015
(PRESS RELEASE) -- Penn National Gaming announced today that it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Illinois video gaming terminal (VGT) operator Prairie State Gaming (PSG) in an all-cash transaction. One of the largest VGT route operators in Illinois, PSG’s operations include more than 1,100 terminals across a network of 270 bar and retail gaming establishments throughout the state. For the twelve months ended June 30, 2015, PSG generated nearly $10 million in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization). The transaction, which is expected to be immediately accretive to Penn National upon closing later this quarter, is subject to regulatory and other customary approvals and conditions.

Jay Snowden, Chief Operating Officer of Penn National Gaming, commented, “The planned acquisition of PSG is consistent with our proven long-term strategy for growth through accretive acquisitions. PSG is one of Illinois’ most respected VGT operators, with a strong track record of regulatory compliance and a reputation for reliable around the clock service backed by one of the industry’s most experienced teams. With its strong financial position, PSG has also distinguished itself in the Illinois VGT industry for its ability to quickly roll out new games to customers.

“Penn National looks forward to adding our nearly two decades of industry leading experience in marketing, player development and operating electronic casino games in highly regulated environments,” added Snowden. “We believe this acquisition will provide us a solid platform for future growth in the Illinois VGT market and potentially other states where this form of gaming is authorized,” he concluded.

John Canham, current acting general manager at Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway, will assume the newly created role of general manager of VGT operations for Penn National, subject to customary regulatory approvals. Mr. Canham will report directly to Ameet Patel, senior vice-president, regional operations for Penn National.

Throughout his 36-year gaming industry career, Mr. Canham has served in many diverse roles. Prior to assuming the role of acting general manager at Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway, he served as vice-president of casino operations at the property beginning in 2014. Before that he was director of operations at Boomtown Biloxi Casino from 2008 to 2014, during which time he spent two years in a corporate slot role with responsibility for negotiating Master Purchase Agreements with slot manufacturers and other special projects. Mr. Canham previously served in various roles at Hollywood Casino - Baton Rouge from 1994 to 2008, including table games manager and slot operations manager. He began his career with London Clubs in England and subsequently worked in a variety of supervisory and management positions in a number of casinos internationally, including Crystal Palace Casino in the Bahamas and Jasmine Court Hotel and Casino in Cyprus.

Rob Miller, founder and president of PSG, will remain with the company as a strategic adviser and will be working closely with Mr. Canham to ensure a smooth transition and to continue supporting PSG’s retail gaming, bar, restaurant and veteran organization customers.