Penn National Gaming Inc. said July 1 it has closed on two key deals, one in Ohio and the other in Maryland.

Pennsylvania-based PNGI said it has completed its purchase of Beulah Park, a racetrack south of Columbus, Ohio, and closed its investment in a joint venture with MI Developments in Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, which are run by the Maryland Jockey Club.

“The acquisition of Beulah Park further expands our portfolio of pari-mutuel facilities and, given our ownership of Raceway Park in Toledo, the company has secured a second opportunity to benefit from the possible legalization of (video lottery terminals) at Ohio’s seven racetracks,” PNGI chief executive officer Peter Carlino said in a statement. “The joint venture for the Maryland Jockey Club aligns Penn National, now the nation’s largest owner of racing facilities, with Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park, two of the country’s most historic racing venues.

“Our involvement in Pimlico—home  to the (grade I) Preakness Stakes—and Laurel Park  is consistent with Penn National’s strategy of diversifying our pari-mutuel operations and presence in key markets with assets that can benefit from the placement of gaming devices. We look forward to working with our partner to maximize the use and value of the Maryland Jockey Club’s real estate assets and to pursue other opportunities, including gaming, to maximize Penn National’s return from this transaction.”

Beulah Park, which offers live racing from October through early May, is located on about 210 acres in Grove City. If the track is awarded VLTs, PNGI would have two Columbus-area gaming facilities; it plans to build a full-scale casino in the city.

The Beulah Park and MJC deals each were approved by racing regulators in their respective states.

PNGI is preparing to launch table gaming at its Charles Town Races & Slots in West Virginia in early July. When that occurs, the name of the facility will change to Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.

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