An antitrust act is causing Penn National Gaming’s chairman to step down, following the company’s $2.8 billion acquisition of Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. last year.
Penn National— which operates 42 gaming companies, including the M Resort and Tropicana — announced Friday that Peter Carlino is stepping down from his role as chairman after 25 years.
The shift was made to comply with the Clayton Antitrust Act, which makes Carlino ineligible to serve as a director to both Penn National and Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc., a real estate investment trust company that spun out of Penn National in 2013. The restrictions were put in place after Penn National acquired gambling company Pinnacle Entertainment in October 2018, which changed the company’s asset composition.
Carlino had served as chairman since the company’s initial public offering in 1994, and had previously served as CEO until 2013. He will remain chairman and CEO of GLPI, and will have a non-voting role at Penn National as chairman emeritus.
Carlino resigned from the board of directors Tuesday, and the change will go into effect June 12, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing from Penn National. The SEC filing from Penn National said Carlino didn’t resign from “any dispute or disagreement.”
The company has reduced the size of its board to seven members following Carlino’s resignation. David Handler, who has served on the company’s board since 1994, will fill in as chairman. Handler is a partner at financial advisory and private equity firm Centerview Partners. He is set to receive $50,000 as a retainer fee and $375,000 in company equity.