In one of the most meaningful votes for the casino sector this year, Cordish was granted the local referendum to construct a slot casino at Anne Arundel Mall in Maryland.
This approval is a negative for Penn National Gaming (PENN), which operates casinos in Charles Town and Perryville that attract customers from the Anne Arundel market.
The Anne Arundel facility is about 75 miles from Penn's Charles Town property and 55 miles from its recently opened Hollywood Casino in Perryville. The two properties account for 19.9% of Santarelli's 2013 net revenue estimate and 20.3% of its property level EBITDA for Penn.Santarelli estimates that about 10% to 15% of Penn's Charles Town net revenue will be at risk due to the passing of the initiative. He believes Penn will ultimately look to shut down its Laurel Park live race operations, as a result, and potentially exit its race track investments in Maryland. In July, Penn entered into a joint-venture with MI Developments to own and operate the Maryland Jockey Club, which owns both Laurel Park and Pimlico race tracks. Now that the referendum passed, it kills the hope of getting slots at Laurel Park, which was what Penn was betting on. But Cordish's approval to construct a 4,750 slot casino is a positive for the three equipment makers, WMS, Bally and IGT, Santarelli noted.
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