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Regional Casino Operators Talk Potential Merger

Penn National Gaming, Pinnacle Could Combine Forces

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Penn National Gaming is in talks to acquire rival regional casino operator Pinnacle Entertainment, the former said in a press release late last week. The potential deal would involve both cash and stock.

“In light of recent market speculation, Penn National Gaming today confirmed that it is engaged in discussions with Pinnacle Entertainment regarding a potential business combination, whereby Penn National would acquire Pinnacle in a cash and stock transaction,” the Pennsylvania-based company said.

According to Penn National Gaming, the discussions do not guarantee a transaction will take place. It also said it won’t be discussing the potential merger further until a deal is announced.

Pinnacle, based in Las Vegas, owns 16 casinos, primarily in the Midwest and the South, while Penn National Gaming has 29 in states such as California, Ohio, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Nevada. Some of Pinnacle’s marquee properties became part of its portfolio after a 2013 deal to acquire Ameristar Casinos for nearly $3 billion.

Per a report from Motley Fool, Penn National Gaming and Pinnacle for years have had an existing business relationship, so the talks of a merger aren’t that big of surprise.

A merger would help the companies compete with larger operators such as Caesars and MGM, which are both making plays in regional markets across the country.