Is Penn National Gaming Changing Its Name?

Penn National Gaming is a regional casino gaming and entertainment company based in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. The company’s gaming presence in that state dates back to horse racing in the Keystone State.

When casino gambling became legal in Pennsylvania in 2004, Penn National made its initial foray into the land-based casino industry. More recently, the company bought a major equity stake in the digital media property Barstool Sports ahead of launching Barstool Sportsbook.

Barstool Sportsbook is the sports betting brand behind Penn National Gaming’s efforts to become a player in the legal US market. This brand offers limited retail sports betting through land-based sportsbooks in casinos, race tracks and other gaming venues. Available in more than 11 different states, Barstool Sportsbook also offers a mobile sports betting app.

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A Change May Be On the Way

Speculation that Penn National Gaming may be complementing a name change is fueled by recent filings for trademark applications. The company filed 15 trademark applications for “Penn Entertainment” and Penn Entertainment & Media.”

The news of these filings was first mentioned by trademark attorney Josh Gerben. His recent tweet earlier this month stated:

“Penn National Gaming appears to be headed for a rebrand. The company has filed 15 new trademark applications for PENN ENTERTAINMENT and PENN ENTERTAINMNENT & MEDIA.”

The filings included certain patent classifications. This list included “downloadable mobile applications for playing casino games, sports betting, live-action betting games and off-track betting.”

The company is also looking for trademarks that cover casino services, restaurant, bar, café, and hotel services.

Over the past several years, Penn National has grown into one of the biggest regional casino gaming and entertainment companies outside of Las Vegas and Atlantic City. In 1994, the company first changed its name from Penn National Race Course Corp. to Penn National Gaming.

Penn National’s Major Stock Value Decline

Internal concerns by company shareholders may also be driving a change in direction. Going back to March of 2021, Penn National shares were trading around $135. A year later and a major decline in value, the average share price is around $44. This reflects a 67% loss from one year to the next.

Part of this issue is tied to a massive spending spree. The equity stake in Barstool Sports was $163 million in 2020. In August of 2021, Penn National agreed to pay $2 billion in cash and company stock to purchase Score Media and Gaming. This is a Canadian-based digital media and gaming operator.

Last month, Penn National reported that the company lost $6 million on its interactive sports betting and iGaming platform. This loss was against $150 million in revenue in 2021. The projection for 2022 is rather grim with the loss in online gaming climbing to $50 million.

This situation is not unique to Penn National as a gaming and entertainment company. Profitability has been an issue with US-based sportsbook operators. The cost of new player acquisition and promotional spending has cut deep into the revenue generated through record sports betting handles.

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