Thursday August 4,2016 : PENN NATIONAL GAMING ACQUIRES ROCKET GAMES
$60 million to expand social casino portfolio.
Penn National Gaming (Penn) has acquired social gaming company Rocket Games for a consideration that could potentially reach “up to $170 million”.
Penn will pay $60 million in cash, as well as earn-outs of up to $110 million based on company performance over the next two years.
Based in San Francisco, Rocket Games was co-founded in 2013 by Bill Gelpi, Steven Jian and Niko Vuori who all held senior positions at Zynga as director of product, principal software engineer and studio general manager respectively.
The company has found success in its popular social casino game titles Viva Slots Vegas, Vegas Jackpot Casino and Downtown Deluxe Slots among others, titles which will now fall under Penn’s digital subsidiary Penn Interactive Ventures who already operate social casino games Hollywood Races and Hollywood Slots, both of which reported strong growth in the company’s latest financials.
“Penn National’s accretive acquisition of Rocket 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 three million active customers,” commented president and chief executive officer of Penn, Timothy J. Wilmot.
“Since the separation of our gaming assets from our real estate assets in 2013 we have been highly focused on a broad range of growth and diversification initiatives,” the press statement reads.
“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, our Hollywoodcasino.com and Hollywoodslots.com social casino offerings and Rocket’s operations that will drive near- and long-term growth for our shareholders,” Wilmot noted.
“The entire Rocket team is delighted to join the Penn National family and leverage their expertise and nationwide reach to take our game development capabilities and company growth to the next level,” Gelpi said in a press statement. “Social and online gaming is an extremely attractive segment of mobile and online gaming, and tying our innovative gaming expertise to a traditional casino operator with a qualified database of customers will create unmatched opportunities for both Rocket Games and Penn National.”