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Penn National officially acquires M Resort

3 June 2011

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Penn National Gaming officially acquired M Resort on Wednesday after Nevada gaming regulators approved the deal last month.

The regional casino and racetrack operator, which is based in Wyomissing, Pa., took control of the 390-room hotel-casino after purchasing the debt covering the 2-year-old M Resort at a nearly 75 percent discount last October.

Penn National also announced that M Resort developer Anthony Marnell III, who built the hotel-casino at a cost of nearly $1 billion, would serve as president of the property. Marnell has no ownership in the resort.

Penn National spent $230.5 million to acquire M Resort's $860 million in debt in October. Company executives told state gaming regulators in May that Penn's ownership stabilizes the property's previously uncertain financial future.

"Through this transaction, M Resort has emerged as a financially sound, debt-free, upscale locals and destination-oriented casino resort with extensive high-quality amenities." Penn National Chief Executive Officer Peter Carlino said in a statement.

M Resort sits on 90 acres at the southeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and St. Rose Parkway and employs about 1,200 workers.

Penn National operates nearly 20 casinos and racetracks in regional markets and has more than 15,000 employees companywide.

In January, Penn began marketing M Resort to its database of more than 12 million regional gaming customers. Following the marketing effort, M Resort booked more than 1,300 incremental room nights, which increased occupancy by almost 4 percent and contributed to first-quarter property revenue of $39.8 million and cash flow of $6.2 million.

"Penn National has brought financial stability to the facility," Marnell said.
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