Cordish Companies Selling Live! Casino Properties to Penn National Real Estate Trust

Posted on: December 7, 2021, 09:16h. 

Last updated on: December 7, 2021, 10:05h.

The Cordish Companies has agreed to sell the property assets of its casino resorts in Maryland and Pennsylvania to the real estate investment trust (REIT) of Penn National Gaming.

Cordish Companies GLPI Penn National REIT
The Cordish Companies is selling three casinos in Maryland and Pennsylvania to Gaming and Leisure Properties, including Live! Casino Hotel Maryland (pictured). Gaming and Leisure Properties is the primary real estate investment trust of Penn National Gaming. (Image:

Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. (GLPI) will pay Baltimore-based Cordish $1.81 billion to acquire the physical assets of Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland, Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia, and Live! Casino Pittsburgh. The transaction, a mix of cash and stock, is expected to close in early 2022.

The agreement requires GLPI to immediately and without interruption lease back the operations of the three casinos to Cordish for a minimum of 39 years. Cordish will pay GLPI $125 million annually to lease the three casinos for the first year, with the rate increasing at a fixed 1.75 percent each year for the entirety of the lease.

GLPI is partially funding its $1.81 billion responsibility by issuing 7.7 million new shares of common stock. The offering is expected to generate $344.6 million in gross proceeds.

GLPI and Cordish Partner

Unlike the many other REIT deals in recent years, the Cordish and Gaming and Leisure agreement involves the real estate trust investing in future projects with the casino operator. The Live! deals include the requirement that GLPI fund 20 percent of Cordish’s equity portion in any future casino project over the next seven years.

Cordish CEO and Chairman David Cordish explained that he’s long been impressed with Gaming and Leisure’s “pioneering structure” of buying and leasing premier casino assets across the country. The chief executive said the company’s willingness to acquire GLPI shares in part of the Live! sale demonstrates Cordish’s enthusiasm for the future of the real estate enterprise.

Cordish added that the transactions will free up capital that will be used to continue to improve the customer experience. It will also better serve the company’s team members and the local communities where it operates.

REIT Popularity

Penn National was the first US casino operator to utilize a REIT in the gaming industry. Forming a separate entity that owns the land and physical buildings allows gaming operators to free up cash.

Penn wholly-owned GLPI when it was first formed. But today, the casino operator no longer maintains a majority ownership position in the REIT. That has made GLPI more attractive to other casino operators, such as Cordish.

GLPI’s other tenants include Bally’s Corporation, Caesars Entertainment, and Boyd Gaming. Notable properties owned by GLPI include L’Auberge Lake Charles, Hollywood Casino St. Louis, M Resort in Henderson, Nv., and Tropicana Atlantic City.

Gaming and Leisure Properties fueled the creation of other casino giants forming REITs. MGM Resorts debuted MGM Growth Properties in 2015, and Caesars Entertainment launched VICI Properties in 2017.

The real estate holdings are massive organizations due to the large properties that they own. As a result, the publicly traded organizations have large market values.

VICI has a market capitalization of $17.8 billion, GLPI $11.2 billion, and MGM Growth $6 billion.