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Argosy owner seeks to buy Illinois video game terminal operator


From Illinois Business Journal news services

Penn National Gaming, Inc., parent company of Argosy Casino in Alton, is seeking to buy one of the largest video game terminal operations in Illinois.

Penn National says it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Illinois video gaming terminal operator Prairie State Gaming in an all-cash transaction. PSG’s operations include more than 1,100 terminals across a network of 270 bar and retail gaming establishments throughout the state.

For the 12 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.

“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,” Jay Snowden, chief operating officer of Penn National Gaming, commented.

“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,” Snowden said.

Left unstated by Snowden was the competitive factor that video terminals have presented to casino operations in the state.

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. Canham will report directly to Ameet Patel, Senior Vice President, Regional Operations for Penn National.

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

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