New York-listed Penn National Gaming has appointed Jay Snowden to succeed long-serving chief executive Tim Wilmott in January.

Wilmott has informed the company’s board of his decision to retire as CEO and as a member of the board at the end of the year.

Snowden, who has served as chief operating officer since 2014 and as president since 2017, will succeed Wilmott on 1 January, but will join the company’s board with immediate effect.

“On behalf of the board, our shareholders and employee teams, we want to thank Tim for his significant contributions to Penn National’s transformation during his tenure, including his commitment to operational excellence and shareholder returns,” said Penn National Gaming chairman David Handler. “Tim and Jay have partnered closely over the last eight years, laying a strong foundation for sustained long-term value creation at Penn National, making Jay ideally suited to serve as our next chief executive officer.”

Wilmott joined Penn National in February 2008 as president and COO, and was named CEO in November 2013, serving as a member of the board since 2014.

During his tenure, the company has significantly expanded its operating base with the opening of new casinos and the acquisition of existing gaming facilities, helping to double Penn National’s annual revenue from approximately $2.4bn in 2008 to the over $5bn expected in 2019.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to have led Penn National through a transformational period in the company’s history, including the acquisition of Pinnacle Entertainment, the creation of the industry’s first gaming REIT and other initiatives that have driven growth, created shareholder value and positioned the company for future success,” said Wilmott. “After more than 30 years in the industry that I love, I look forward to Penn National’s further growth under Jay’s leadership.”

Snowden joined the company from Caesars Entertainment in October 2011 as senior vice president of regional operations. In January 2014, he was appointed COO and in March 2017 became president and COO.

“Since I joined Penn National, the company has cemented its reputation as one of the gaming industry’s best managed and largest operators of regionally diverse gaming properties,” said Snowden. “This success is a reflection of the Company’s disciplined operating strategies and unparalleled execution by our dedicated team.

“Along with our board, senior management, corporate and property teams, we will continue to build on the foundation laid by Peter Carlino and Tim Wilmott. We are entering a very dynamic time for our company and I couldn’t be more excited, honored and humbled to lead this amazing company into the future.”

Penn National also announced its financial results for the second quarter of 2019, with revenue increasing 60 per cent to $1,323.1m. Higher operating expenses and interest income pushed net income down 5 per cent to $51.5m for the quarter.

Shares in Penn National Gaming Inc (NSQ:PENN) closed down 1.11 per cent at $19.52 per share in New York Wednesday.


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