What happened 

Shares of casino company Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN) jumped an incredible 51.5% in August, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, after reporting earnings from the second quarter. Shares got another boost on Sept. 1 after an analyst upgrade, but have fallen back in the trading days since then. 

So what 

For the second quarter, revenue was $305.5 million and adjusted EBITDAR (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, and rent or restructuring costs) was $24.5 million, an impressive cash flow for a quarter affected by COVID-19. Management said that properties that were open saw just a 6% decrease in revenue versus a year ago, so customers are coming back to regional casinos rapidly. 

Craps table on a casino floor.

Image source: Getty Images.

Investors are also excited about the development of the Barstool Sportsbook, which will help Penn National in the online gambling business. A Barstool branded app won't launch until late this year or early in 2021, but there's still a lot of excitement about online gambling making Penn National a long-term growth stock

Now what 

While earnings were the biggest fundamental news for Penn National, the stock is really rising on excitement about online gambling. DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) and Everi Holdings (NYSE:EVRI) are two of the online gambling stocks that have gone crazy over the last few months, and now Penn National is joining them.

The online gambling business may be big nationwide, but Penn National is far from an online competitor, and it may not be the financial impact investors hope for. So if you buy the stock today, it should be mainly because you believe in the recovery of regional casino gambling.