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Penn Pushes Deeper Into Social Gaming

Penn Pushes Deeper Into Social Gaming

Penn National Gaming Inc. has acquired social media gaming developer Rocket Games for about million in cash.

The purchase “highlights our ongoing strategic initiative to acquire emerging growth platforms that complement, and allow us to leverage, our core regional gaming operations and database of over 3 million active customers,” said Penn President and CEO Timothy Wilmott.

He said publicly traded Penn, which operates 27 casinos nationwide, has been “highly focused” on growth and diversification since it separated its gaming assets from its real estate assets in 2013 and created a new company, Gaming and Leisure Properties.

It launched two social casino sites, Hollywoodcasino.com and Hollywoodslots.com, in 2015. Wilmott said the games have drawn in customers to its other operations.

“Based on our internal analysis, a significant segment of Penn National’s database customers actively participate in social and online gaming, and we believe there are meaningful operating and revenue synergies between Penn National’s operations and Rocket’s operations.”

Founded in 2013, Rocket grew revenue by 500 percent last year and earned about $5.6 million in revenue before taxes for the first six months of 2016, according to a news release.

The company’s flagship game, Viva Slots Vegas, attracts about 200,000 active players per day, according to Chris Sheffield, managing director of iGaming for Penn.

Rocket and its 30 employees will remain at their San Francisco base of operations, the company said.