By Lewis Gould

One of the four Philly region casinos is being sold to a national powerhouse which used to own Atlantic City’s Borgata.

Boyd Gaming Corp. of Las Vegas is buying Valley Forge Casino Resort for $280.5 million.

The acquisition comes less than two months after Pennsylvania lawmakers passed new legislation that removed restrictions on gamblers entering the Upper Merion casino.

Prior to the passage of the law in October, those who wanted to play slots and table games at Valley Forge had to first spend money elsewhere on the property, such as the convention center or restaurants, or pay a membership fee.

The law also gave Valley Forge permission to add 250 slot machines to its existing 600, and add online gaming.

“The acquisition of Valley Forge Casino Resort is another excellent opportunity to further grow and diversify our nationwide portfolio,” Keith Smith, president and CEO of Boyd Gaming, said in a statement. “With this acquisition, we will expand into the second-largest gaming state in the country, establishing a presence in a densely populated, high-traffic area just west of Philadelphia. And thanks to Pennsylvania’s recent passage of gaming expansion legislation, there are new opportunities to drive incremental growth at Valley Forge through the expansion of the property’s slot capacity and the introduction of new forms of gaming.”

The purchase price is seven times adjusted earnings, taking into account the expansion and future improvements, Boyd said.

Valley Forge is its first property in Pennsylvania, the No. 2 gambling market behind Las Vegas.

“We believe this expansion will help drive additional growth throughout our nationwide portfolio, as we market our destination properties to these new customers in the Midwest and Northeast,” Smith said.

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