Penn National Gaming has announced the creation of Penn Game Studios, an in-house team that will focus on developing exclusive online casino games. The casino company has entered an acquisition agreement to help get Penn Game Studios off the ground.
in the process of acquiring HitPoint Studios and its spun-off studio LuckyPoint
Penn National Gaming revealed on Monday that is in the process of buying HitPoint Studios and its spun-off studio LuckyPoint, with the deal set to close in the near future. No financial terms have become public knowledge as yet.
The rollout of exclusive games
Following the closing of the acquisition, the 30 employees at LuckyPoint and HitPoint will integrate into Penn National Gaming’s online subsidiary, Penn Interactive.
According to Penn Interactive head Jon Kaplowitz, the first exclusive games should be ready for release later this year. He added that the creation of these games will help drive customer acquisition and develop a loyal player base.
first exclusive games should be ready for release later this year
The exclusive games will fall into two categories. Penn Game Studios will work on developing table game offerings for Barstool players, who tend to be younger and lean towards these types of games. Meanwhile, slots-style products will have Penn National Gaming’s mychoice loyalty cardholders in mind. Here, the customer base tends to be older, retail casino players who prefer spinning slots.
Speaking about HitPoint’s upcoming takeover by Penn National Gaming, CEO Paul Hake said: “We look forward to adding our creativity, design and engineering skills to an already well-accomplished team at Penn National.”
Penn National Gaming CEO and president Jay Snowden touched on how the launch of Penn Game Studios is an important step in the evolution of the company. He believes that the company’s ability to now create exclusive content will help to “further leverage the Barstool Sports brand and our database of 20 million mychoice customers, and create cross-marketing opportunities with our brick and mortar facilities.”
Penn National Gaming’s online expansion
Penn National Gaming currently has 41 retail properties covering 19 states, operating through brands like Ameristar and Hollywood. It has also recently been focusing on expanding its online gambling offering.
The company bought a 36% stake in popular sports media company Barstool Sports in February 2020 for $163m. This led to Penn National Gaming launching Barstool Sports-branded sportsbooks and online casinos across numerous states.
Barstool Sportsbook is currently live online in Illinois, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Further launches are in the works before the end of the year, including in Indiana later this month. It also has retail sportsbooks operational in numerous states.
The Barstool online casino offering is only fully live in Michigan at the moment.