Penn National Gaming Expands Social Gaming Presence

by Kyle Miller

Penn National GamingPenn National Gaming acquires Rocket Games Inc. at a price point of $60 million to further enhance their online gaming presence in the social gaming sector.

Across the United States, casino gamers are limited as to what they can enjoy online. Sure we can all go to the local casino and play our favorite games like slots or blackjack, but for most people there is not enough time in the day or venues are too far away for a quick trip. Essentially, the best option would be to play casino games online but this is just not viable in most states across the US.

For most players, social gaming has taken the place of online casinos. Players can log on to websites that offer casino style games to win prizes or enjoy social games that offer prizes as well. The activity is certainly not the same but a way in which players can go online for gaming entertainment. Due to the regulations within most states in the US, operators of casinos or gambling facilities have started offering free play online casinos or gaming sites in anticipation of legislation passing. In Pennsylvania, Penn National Gaming is one such company offering online gaming options and recently, the company acquired Rocket Games Inc. to up their social game offerings.

Penn National Gaming Spends $60m on Acquisition

$60 million was spent by Penn National Gaming to acquire Rocket Games Inc., a company based in San Francisco, California. Founded in 2013, Rocket Games quickly rose to the top of the social casino industry. Penn National Gaming Senior Vice President Chris Sheffield, stated that the company is excited to have acquired the best-in-class social casino game developer as the acquisition will expand the in-house capabilities for Penn National as well as lead to better diversification of their portfolio and gaming entertainment assets.

Viva Slots Vegas is a flagship game of Rocket Games that is a leader in classic slot action for mobile casino gaming, a game that has attracted an audience of more than 200,000 individuals on average daily. Penn National feels that Rocket will provide them with a top quality platform to help cross promote the social and online operations of Penn with regional gaming properties.

With the acquisition, Penn National will receive access to Viva Slots Vegas along with many top social games including Vegas Jackpot Casino, Triple Double Slots and Downtown Deluxe Slots. Penn National already launched their own social casino and plans on using Rocket Games to expand their reach.

Existing Offerings by Penn National

Penn National already has two social sites for casino gaming including Hollywoodslots.com and Hollywoodcasino.com. After an internal analysis by the company it was determined that a significant segment of the customer database participate in social and online gaming. They believe that the existing synergies with the operations of Penn National along with the two online social casinos plus Rocket’s operations, the company will be driven nearer to their long term goal of growth for shareholders.

Penn National is based in Wyomissing (not to be confused with Wyoming), Pennsylvania with Rocket Games to remain in San Francisco as their headquarters. The existing management team will remain in place and take care of the daily operations of the company.

CEO of Rocket Gaming, Bill Gelpi, stated that the team at Rocket is delighted to join Penn National’s family and leverage their expertise as well as nationwide reach to take the game development to the next level. Gelpi pointed out that social and online gaming is an extremely attractive segment of mobile as well as online gaming and unmatched opportunities await Rocket Games and Penn National as the two come together, tying their innovative gaming expertise with a traditional casino operator.