On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) voted to approve the Category 3 Slot Machine Licensee change from Valley Forge Casino Resort to Boyd Gaming.
As part of the decision, Boyd Gaming, based in Las Vegas, Nevada agreed to pay a change of control fee to the Commonwealth of $1.35 million. That fee is in addition to the total cash consideration of $280.5 million for the property.
Boyd Gaming presented its case to the PGCB
Boyd Gaming’s executive management team presented its case for acquiring Montgomery County‘s Valley Forge Casino Resort before the PGCB. The presentation happened ahead of the board’s vote to approve the sale.
During their appearance, Boyd Gaming discussed:
- The expansion of slot machines by 250
- Option to bid on satellite casinos
- Opportunities for online gaming
- Possible sports betting (dependent on a favorable ruling from the Supreme Court)
Of those items, online gaming certainly stands out as noteworthy knowing that online gaming was a motivating factor in the purchase of Valley Forge.
“Online gaming is important to us,” Boyd Gaming President and CEO Keith Smith told the PGCB. “The Valley Forge acquisition directly aligns with the Company’s long-term growth strategy of acquiring assets in strong and growing markets that generate substantial free cash flow.”
Boyd Gaming isn’t new to online gambling. It ran the Borgata online casino in New Jersey before selling its 50-percent stake in the operation. As New Jersey online casinos continue to set revenue records, it is easy to understand Boyd’s desire to get back into the online gaming market.
Boyd Gaming sets its sight on a national presence
The presentation and subsequent approval finalized a process that began last fall. That is when Boyd Gaming first announced its intention to buy the King Of Prussia property.
Towards the second half of 2017, Boyd Gaming went on a buying spree of sorts. It purchased four Pinnacle Entertainment properties just days before it announced its objective of adding Valley Forge Casino Resort to its portfolio.
Boyd Gaming views Valley Forge as a way of re-entering the Northeast market in a position of strength. Boyd finds the potential for sharing online player pools between states with regulated online gaming and opportunities to cross-market with other Boyd casinos extremely attractive.
“The acquisition of Valley Forge Casino Resort is another excellent opportunity to further grow and diversify our nationwide portfolio. With this acquisition, we will expand into the second-largest gaming state in the country, establishing a presence in a densely populated, high-traffic area just west of Philadelphia,” Smith said in a Dec. 2018 press release.
The future of Boyd Gaming
Boyd is most likely celebrating its choice after Valley Forge posted the highest year-over-year revenue gain of all Pennsylvania casinos in February. They have been out front posting impressive growth numbers for the past few months.
Once the approval processes finish all pending sales, Boyd expects its portfolio to contain:
- 30 properties in 11 states
- 1.8 million square feet of casino space
- 40,000 slot machines
- 1,000 table games
- 11,300 hotel rooms
- 300+ restaurants and bars
- 27,000+ team members
It has already been established that online gaming is important to Boyd. But they aren’t the only operator to set their sights towards the launch of online gambling in the state. It is likely most of the land-based casinos in Pennsylvania will seek to launch an online casino sometime later this year. Especially now that properties know there will be unlimited skins to help lure potential partners to the state.