Penn Nat'l still 'just looking' at deals

Nov 4, 2008 5:10 PM

Gaming Insider by Phil Hevener |

Penn National CEO Peter Carlino is continually nudged to talk about his company’s interest in acquiring one or more casinos, either in Las Vegas and/or Atlantic City. Here’s a bit of what he had to say during a recent conversation about the possibilities.

About Atlantic City: "We think Atlantic City is going to be a long term opportunity, maybe five to seven years. It will take some time for this opportunity to unfold."

Penn expects to pay careful attention to this unfolding. The company is one of many reviewing the city’s recent request for proposals to develop the former Bader Field, the 140-something acres that is within walking distance of the Boardwalk.

About Las Vegas: "Las Vegas has been doing a whole lot less well than even we might have imagined. It falls into the category of things we consider almost daily."

Would Penn have an appetite for getting involved in one of the partially built but temporarily abandoned projects? The person asking this question might have had Boyd’s Echelon or Pinnacle’s Sands project in mind.

This is where Carlino seemed to gather himself, take a deep breath that suggested a what-part-of-my-words-haven’t-you-been-listening-to attitude.

"There is nothing we don’t look at, including partially built projects."

But the key to this deep-pocketed company’s future, he stressed, will include the exercise of patience.

"Patience is gong to be the keyword. We may see things spring loose that we would not have dreamed of a year ago."