Boyd Finalizes Valley Forge Acquisition — So Can It Apply For Sports Betting Already?

Written By Grant Lucas on September 17, 2018
final sale sign in store window

Nearly nine months since publicly beginning the processBoyd Gaming completed its acquisition of Valley Forge Casino.

The King of Prussia casino represents Boyd’s first property in Pennsylvania. It also brings the company’s list of assets to 25 casinos in eight states.

“Valley Forge represents a key expansion of our nationwide portfolio, giving us the opportunity to serve the vibrant Northeast region,” Keith Smith, president and CEO of Boyd Gaming, said in a release. “This is a moment of significant opportunity for Pennsylvania’s gaming industry, and we look forward to exploring future growth initiatives at this property.”

Growing, diversifying casino portfolio

The Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming kicked the transaction into motion in Dec. 2017. In a press release announcing Boyd’s venture into the Keystone State, Smith called Valley Forge an “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.”

The purchase of Valley Forge happened around the same time as Boyd’s acquisition of four Pinnacle Entertainment properties. Rumors suggest the deal is worth $280 million.

According to Smith, this group of deals “will help drive additional growth throughout our nationwide portfolio, as we market our destination properties to these new customers in the Midwest and Northeast.”

Sports betting in future for Valley Forge?

Valley Forge still has not submitted an application for a sports betting license in Pennsylvania. Nonetheless. Boyd Gaming entered into a partnership with FanDuel Group in August. With it came the possibility for FanDuel Sportsbook in PA.

The deal gives FanDuel Sportsbook access to states it isn’t currently operating in. That includes Pennsylvania. As of now, FanDuel Sportsbook operates in West Virginia and New Jersey.

Late last month, sources told PlayPennsylvania that FanDuel Sportsbook would expand its footprint into Pennsylvania through Valley Forge.

In Monday’s announcement, Smith left little to the imagination.

“We will move forward quickly with the addition of 250 slot machines to the property’s casino floor, and closely examine the opportunity to offer both online gaming and sports wagering through our partnership with FanDuel Group.  We see attractive growth potential at Valley Forge, and are pleased to welcome the entire Valley Forge team to Boyd Gaming.”

But wait, there’s more

FanDuel isn’t the only major player with access to the Pennsylvania market through Boyd. So does MGM Resorts International.

In a July deal, MGM and Boyd Gaming entered into an “unprecedented partnership.” The partnership gives the two companies entry into a combined 15 online gaming markets, including PA.

This partnership also results in an interesting situation regarding online sports betting in Pennsylvania. Valley Forge, if approved for sports betting, only gets one skin for mobile wagering. Given the recent announcement, that skin will go to FanDuel. Where that leaves MGM is unclear.

Regardless, Boyd continues to expand its reach.

“Our industry is evolving,” Smith said in a July press release, “providing opportunities for growth through new forms of gaming like online and mobile gaming.”

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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is a longtime sportswriter who has covered the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant has covered games and written features and columns surrounding prep sports, Linfield, and Oregon State athletics and the Portland Trail Blazers throughout his career.

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