Penn National Gaming Chief Executive Timothy J. Wilmott, in the biggest inside purchase in at least 15 years, is buying $3.1 million in shares of the regional gambling company, reports Barrons, the financial news magazine and website.
Wall Street observers believe the purchase may have been tied to Wilmott’s belief that Penn, through its extensive nationwide profile, will be a major force in the emerging sports wagering market. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the law banning Nevada-style sports betting in May. Penn is now operating or soon will begin operations at legalized sports betting markets in Mississippi and West Virginia. William Hill, the British-controlled bookmaker, is working with Penn in both states.
Penn operates sportsbooks at its two Las Vegas properties, M Resort and the Tropicana, through CG Technology.
Wilmott’s purchase was revealed in an Aug. 15 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that disclosed he purchased 100,000 shares of Penn for an average of $30.85.
The purchase, made at the open-market price, was Wilmott’s first in four years, and the biggest by any executive or director at the regional gambling company in terms of both volume of stock and market value since at least 2003, Barrons reported.
Wilmott joined Penn National in February 2008 as president and chief operating officer, and was named CEO in November 2013.