Penn National Gaming has outlined its sports betting anticipations, as well addressing developments in Pennsylvania, during its Q2 2018 report.

The firm’s CEO Timothy J. Wilmott has unveiled ambitions to begin accepting wagers at its Mississippi, West Virginia and potentially Pennsylvania casinos, in time for the commencement of the National Football League (NFL) season’s opening game in September.

Regarding further progression in other territories across the US, Wilmott stressed: “We are continuing to engage with state lawmakers in our other jurisdictions, to advocate for passage of sports betting laws with reasonable tax rates and license fees, similar to legislation enacted in the West Virginia, Mississippi and Nevada models.”

Penn National has also applied to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) for approval to operate online casino gaming, as Wilmott explained: “Despite the state’s high tax rate, we chose to proceed with the hope that we can continue to work to bring the tax rate in line with that of other gaming jurisdictions around the world, and if successful, we plan to market the games to our robust database of casino and social gaming customers in Pennsylvania.”

“Penn National delivered another strong quarter in which we exceeded our guidance”

Regarding its second quarter figures, net revenue rose almost four per cent year-on-year, reaching $826.9m from $796.5m, falling a little shy of the guidance figure of $839.9m.

Income from operations saw a 34.6 per cent increase to $181.8m, whilst net income exceeded its $45.4m guidance by a fraction shy of 19 per cent, coming in at $54m.

Adjusted EBITDA also highlighted healthy improvements, an 8.6 per cent boost to $247.1m from Q2 2017’s $227.4m also beating its $242.7m guidance.

Wilmott commented: “Penn National delivered another strong quarter in which we exceeded our guidance for income from operations and adjusted EBITDA.

“Our solid second quarter results are largely attributable to same store revenue growth at nearly two-thirds of our gaming operations, and the continued success of our ongoing margin enhancement initiatives.

“As a result, all three of the company’s operating segments generated year-over-year adjusted EBITDA growth. Our margin enhancement initiatives, which began last October, continue to yield results, with ongoing focus on procurement, marketing and labour.”

“…We anticipate closing the transaction in early fourth quarter”

An update on the ongoing acquisition on Pinnacle Entertainment was also issued by Wilmott, who explained early Q4 is an expected period for the transaction being closed.

“Over the last several months, we have worked diligently with Pinnacle’s leadership to better understand the company’s culture and processes, and engaged with leaders and team members from all corporate functions,” commented Wilmott.

“With that knowledge, we have developed a new corporate organisational structure that blends proven leaders from both Penn National and Pinnacle, while maintaining our corporate headquarters in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, and retaining a significant corporate presence at Pinnacle’s Las Vegas-based Service Center.”

“Based on our progress to date in terms of regulatory approvals and transition planning, we anticipate closing the transaction in early fourth quarter. In addition, we remain confident our $100 million of cost synergy objectives are well within reach.”