US casino operator splashes up to $170 million on developer Rocket Games

Management could earn extra $110m from acquisition

Date Type Companies involved Size
August 4th, 2016 acquisition Rocket Games Inc. $60m
US casino operator splashes up to $170 million on developer Rocket Games

Casino and racetrack operator Penn National Gaming has acquired social casino developer Rocket Games for $60 million in a cash deal.

Futher earn-out payments for the Rocket Games management team could result in an extra $110 million.

Depending on performance, that could bring the total acquisition cost up to $170 million.

The studio will continue to work out of its San Francisco headquarters and the existing management team will stay in place and run the company for the time being.

Blasting off

Rocket Games was founded 2013 by Zynga alums Bill Gelpi and Steven Jian.

The developer handles more than 50 social casino games on the App Store, Google Play and Facebook. Its titles include Viva Slots Las Vegas, Downtown Deluxe Slots and Triple Double Slots.

It’s claimed that its flagship title, Viva Slots Vegas, has 200,000 daily active users.

Recently, the company reported it made $5.6 million of operating EBITDA during the six months ending June 30, 2016.

“Penn National’s accretive acquisition of Rocket highlights our ongoing strategic initiative to acquire emerging growth platforms that complement, and allow us to leverage, our core regional gaming operations and database of over three million active customers,” said Penn National Gaming CEO Timothy Wilmott.


Senior Editor

Craig Chapple is Senior Editor of and He was previously Deputy Editor at Develop and Online Editor at Nintendo of Europe.