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Penn National sees revenues down in Q4, reports “encouraging trends” in January

It plans to launch cashless, cardless, contactless technology at its Pennsylvania casinos in 2021 H1


enn National Gaming on Thursday reported net income of $12.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2020, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier. The casino operator posted revenues of $1.03 billion in the period.
While revenues contracted 23% year-over-year, Adjusted EBITDAR declined by only 9% for the same period, “reflecting structural changes that were put in place with the onset of the pandemic,” the company stated.
Jay Snowden, Penn National President and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Trends in January thus far are encouraging. Visitation and length of play have improved, several of the properties that were forced to close in November and December have reopened, and our retail sports books continue to positively impact both gaming and non-gaming revenues. We are continuing to see encouraging growth in the younger demographic tiers of our database, and we believe the roll-out of vaccinations will encourage more guests in all age segments of our database to return to our land-based facilities soon.”
Penn said the Barstool app went live in Michigan on Jan. 22 with plans to introduce the app in Illinois prior to March Madness basketball tournaments. Other states are on deck prior to the 2021 football season.
“We have seen very strong results at our properties since the Barstool rebranding of our retail sportsbooks at Ameristar Casino Black Hawk, Greektown Casino Hotel, Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg, and Ameristar East Chicago. Our Indiana retail sportsbooks generated record handle, revenue and EBITDAR during the fourth quarter, which has only accelerated following the rebranding,” Snowden said. “We believe this demonstrates the ability of our Barstool-branded retail sportsbooks to attract younger guests to our casinos, which can help drive significant growth in gaming and non-gaming revenues from new demographics. We expect this momentum to gain speed when COVID restrictions are lifted and we are able to host more Barstool events and personalities at our properties. Our plans for 2021 include rebranding several additional retail sportsbooks in our portfolio, beginning with the Pennsylvania properties in the first half of the year.”
Snowden also said the company has laid the groundwork for rolling out a new generation of cashless, cardless, and contactless technology at its casinos, “which we refer to as the 3Cs, that will improve efficiency and guest service, while also driving incremental revenue as we remove transactional friction and offer experiences in line with other industries frequented by younger demographics. We intend to launch this technology initially at our Pennsylvania casinos in the first half of 2021, subject to regulatory approval, and plan to continue rolling it out to other regions in 2021.”
“In addition, we have recently launched our mychoice mobile app,” Snowden said. “As of Dec. 31, the app generated over 140,000 downloads with 91,000 monthly active users. The app will provide us with an environmentally friendly and more efficient way to communicate, interact, and engage with our guests. The 35-to-54 age group is currently the most engaged audience with the app, which is very encouraging as this group represents a growing segment of our different business channels.”
For the year, the company reported a loss of $669.5 million, or $5 per share, swinging to a loss in the period. Revenue was reported as $3.58 billion.
Penn National Gaming shares have climbed 26% since the beginning of the year. The stock has more than tripled in the last 12 months.


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