Penn National Gaming, Inc. (PENN: Nasdaq) (“Penn National Gaming” or the “Company”) announced today that the Nevada Gaming Control Board unanimously approved the steps necessary to implement the previously announced planned separation of its operating assets and real property assets. In order to complete the regulatory process in Nevada, the Company must now obtain the approval of the Nevada Gaming Commission, which is scheduled to consider the matter on July 25, 2013. On November 15, 2012, the Company announced its intent to pursue a plan to separate its operating assets and real property assets into two publicly traded companies – an operating entity, Penn National Gaming, and a newly formed, publicly traded real estate investment trust (a “REIT”), Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. (“GLPI”) – and that it had received a private letter ruling from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) related to the tax treatment of the separation and the qualification of GLPI as a REIT. The private letter ruling is subject to certain qualifications including the accuracy of the representations and statements made by the Company to the IRS. The completion of the proposed transaction is contingent on receipt of approvals from gaming regulators in certain states where the Company has operations as well as other conditions. GLPI has filed an initial registration statement for the proposed transaction. Investors are encouraged to read the registration statement because it contains more complete information about GLPI and its separation from the Company including financial information and disclosures regarding GLPI’s capital structure, senior management and relationship with Penn National Gaming as well as a detailed description of the conditions that must be satisfied in order to proceed with the proposed transaction, including, without limit, the continuing validity of the factual representations underlying the private letter ruling, the completion of the financings needed to fund each of the public companies and the successful completion of the gaming and racing regulatory approval process. Subject to satisfaction of the applicable conditions, the Company is planning to consummate the separation in the fourth quarter of 2013.
The Company has notified each of the 27 regulatory agencies that have jurisdiction over the Company’s gaming and racing operations of the proposed separation and has made, and is continuing to make, all documentary filings required or requested by the various agencies. The Company believes that no further regulatory approvals will be required by 12 of the 27 agencies prior to the consummation of the separation and distribution of shares of GLPI common stock, and that further prior approvals will be required from the other 15 agencies. No assurance can be given on the timing of the remaining regulatory approvals or whether any of the 27 regulatory agencies may require the Company or GLPI to provide additional information or obtain additional approvals.Based on Penn National Gaming’s current real estate portfolio, GLPI is expected to initially own the real estate associated with 19 casino facilities, which have a total of over 2,900 acres of land and 6.6 million square feet of building space. GLPI would lease back to Penn National Gaming 17 of these casino facilities and own and operate two gaming facilities in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Perryville, Maryland. About Penn National Gaming Penn National Gaming owns, operates or has ownership interests in gaming and racing facilities with a focus on slot machine entertainment. The Company presently operates twenty-eight facilities in eighteen jurisdictions, including Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, and Ontario. In aggregate, Penn National's operated facilities currently feature approximately 34,500 gaming machines, approximately 850 table games, 2,900 hotel rooms and approximately 1.6 million square feet of gaming floor space. Forward-looking Statements This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may vary materially from expectations. Although Penn National Gaming, Inc. and its subsidiaries (collectively, the “Company”) believe that our expectations are based on reasonable assumptions within the bounds of our knowledge of our business and operations, there can be no assurance that actual results will not differ materially from our expectations. Meaningful factors that could cause actual results to differ from expectations include, but are not limited to, risks related to the following: the proposed separation of GLPI from the Company, including our ability to timely receive all necessary consents and approvals, the anticipated timing of the proposed separation, the expected tax treatment of the proposed transaction, the ability of each of the post spin Company and GLPI to conduct and expand their respective businesses following the proposed spin-off, and the diversion of management’s attention from traditional business concerns; our ability to raise the capital necessary to finance the spin-off, including the redemption of our existing debt and preferred stock obligations, the anticipated cash portion of our special E&P dividend and transaction costs; and other factors as discussed in GLPI’s registration statement on Form S-11, as amended, and the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012, subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K as filed with the SEC. The Company does not intend to update publicly any forward-looking statements except as required by law.