Four state bodies OK Penn National Gaming's plan to split

Four state regulatory bodies have signed off on Penn National Gaming’s plans to separate the company into two publicly traded entities, including a real estate investment trust.

The company, which owns M Resort, announced Thursday the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, Louisiana Gaming Control Board, Mississippi Gaming Commission and the Pennsylvania State Racing Commission approved the steps necessary to implement the planned separation.

The Nevada Gaming Commission approved the plans last month.

The company is still awaiting approval of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the proposed transaction.

Penn National plans to spin off the real estate associated with 19 of the company’s casinos — including M Resort — into the real estate investment trust, which would the lease back 17 of the casinos to the company.

The trust would own and operate the casinos in Baton Rouge, La., and Perryville, Md.

Penn National hopes to begin the separation by the end of the year.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.