Penn National moves Kansas bid with acquisition

Sep 14, 2009 7:39 PM
by Ray Poirier | Penn National Gaming Inc. saw an opportunity to solidify its position for a Kansas casino license and immediately acquired a competitor’s 50 percent stakes in Kansas Entertainment LLC.

By buying out Cordish Co., Penn National becomes a formidable partner of Kansas Speedway with a $700 million project that will include a casino, hotel, spa, convention center and entertainment/retail district in Wyandotte County.

The partnership change requires the approval of the Kansas Lottery Commission and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City. If granted, Penn National will withdraw the application of its subsidiary, Penn Hollywood Kansas, for the single license that will be granted for the Kansas City-area.

The addition of cash-rich Penn National to the Kansas Entertainment proposal was hailed by state officials. The move, said Lottery Executive Director Ed Van Petten, makes the applicant, "less dependent on the tenuous financial markets of the times."

Officials hope to have the way clear for the review board to act at its meeting this week.

Cordish Co. agreed to sell its stake in the partnership in order to concentrate on other projects, including a slots facility proposed for the city of Baltimore, Maryland.