Barstool Sports is getting into the sports betting and online gambling businesses. In classic Barstool Sports Fashion, BSS founder Dave Portnoy held an “emergency press conference” to announce an agreement with Penn National Gaming to launch retail sportsbooks and a mobile betting platform.
Together, Penn National Gaming and Barstool Sports will pursue sports betting and online casino opportunities across the US under the Barstool Sportsbook brand.
Barstool Sports is partnered with Penn National Gaming to launch Barstool Sportsbook in states with legal online gambling and sports betting. According to a press release, Barstool Sportsbook and Penn National Gaming will soon launch retail sportsbooks, mobile sports betting and online casino games across the United States.
- Operated by the one and only Barstool Sports
- Will likely provide users with tons of content and live streaming
- Should be able to launch in multiple states quickly
- Not yet live
- Still many unknowns at this point
Penn National brings market access and betting experience to the table as the parent company of brick-and-mortar casinos across 19 states. Market access is the key point there because most states that have legalized sports betting to date require online operators to partner with a local land-based casino.
In return, Barstool Sports brings with it a massive database of loyal followers and extensive marketing reach.
Dave “El Presidente” Portnoy is confident that Barstool Sportsbook will be a hit. In his statement announcing the agreement with Penn National, Portnoy put it like this:
We are going to become the biggest gambling company in the country. Why? Penn National has the infrastructure, we have the audience, and we know the space, I’m tellin’ ya, better than anybody.
If you believe in me – believe in us – get on board the rocket ship, because the next stop is literally the moon.
It seems like a match made in heaven, but only time will tell how Barstool Sportsbook functions where it counts: in the hands of real sports fans.
BettingUSA will be following this story and providing updates right here as more becomes known. Later, this page will transition to an actual Barstool Sportsbook review after the launch of the first retail sportsbooks and a mobile betting app.
Readers can also follow the new Barstool Sportsbook Twitter account for timely updates.
When and Where Will Barstool Sportsbook Launch?
- The first retail Barstool Sportsbook is set to open at Detroit’s Greektown Casino during the 2020 March Madness college basketball tournament
- A Barstool Sportsbook mobile app “is expected to launch in the third quarter of 2020”
Currently, it is unclear which states will be targeted first for mobile betting and additional brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. Penn National Gaming operates properties in multiple states that have legalized online betting.
This potentially opens the door to Barstool Sportsbook launching online and/or retail in any of the following states:
Penn National also operates casinos or racetracks in a handful of states that have not yet legalized sports betting, but that could do so in the future:
Barstool Sports and Penn National Deal
The deal makes sense from every angle. Barstool Sports is home to a massive, loyal following that collectively account for some 66 million monthly visits. Just as importantly, the audience skews younger and is heavily invested in sports. This is an excellent target market for a sports betting operation.
As BettingUSA noted in a post detailing the January 2020 announcement, Penn National gaming research has found that Barstool Sports followers are very much into sports betting:
- 62% bet on sports
- 44% bet on sports at least once a week
- 41% say their average bet exceeds $51
Penn National Gaming explained the financial side of the deal in a presentation detailing its agreement with Barstool Sports:
- Penn to invest roughly $163 million in Barstool Sports, Inc for a 36% equity position
- Barstool Sports to exclusively promote Penn National’s online and land-based casinos for up to 40 years with no additional consideration
- Penn National secures the exclusive right to use the Barstool Sports brand for its retail sportsbook, online sports betting and online casino products
- Penn National also secures the exclusive right to use the Barstool Sports brand for sports bars and restaurants
- Penn National to increase its ownership up to 50% after three years
- Penn National secures a pathway to increase its ownership stake to 100% after three years
Barstool Sportsbook Bonus
It is still way too early to speculate on what type of welcome bonus Barstool Sports will offer to new customers, but some sort of welcome offer seems likely.
Barstool Sports will enter the online sports betting business late in the game and faces stiff competition from established operators such as FanDuel and DraftKings. Barstool Sportsbook will have a large customer database to leverage, but so do its chief rivals.
With those considerations in mind, there is a pretty good chance Barstool Sportsbook will offer a deposit bonus and other promotions to new customers. What form any such offers will take remains to be seen, but Barstool Sports is a creative company if nothing else. As more information becomes known, we will update this page with all the key details.
Barstool Sportsbook Mobile App
Mobile sports betting will definitely be in play when Barstool Sportsbook goes online. Barstool Sports already has extensive experience with several popular apps. Its flagship app has nearly 57 thousand ratings on the App Store and is comfortably ranked among the top 100 sports apps.
Additionally, Barstool Sports will not be entering the sports betting game with zero experience. The Barstool Bets app offers a form of free-to-play betting integrated with live streaming video, sports news and more. Some of these features may serve as a preview as to the capabilities of the future Barstool Sportsbook app.
Penn National also comes into the partnership with plenty of expertise at its disposal. In 2019, Penn National Gaming partnered with the highly-experienced sports betting services provider Kambi. For reference, some of Kambi’s bigger partners include DraftKings, 888 Holdings and Rush Street Interactive (parent company of BetRivers).
Furthermore, Penn National Gaming noted in its 2020 presentation that it will retain an in-house development team to build the app. This means Barstool Sportsbook and Penn National will not simply slap their logos on a generic Kambi platform; the Barstool Sportsbook mobile app will be a unique “best in class” product.
Will In-Play Betting Be Offered?
In-play betting will likely be offered from day one.
For one, Barstool Sports and Penn National are clearly intent on competing with the biggest names in the legal sports betting market. In-play betting accounts for the majority of revenue in mature overseas markets (such as the UK) and is already offered by all the mainstream operators here in the US.
Second, Barstool Sports and Penn National Gaming have an experienced in-play betting provider in Kambi. The partnership between Penn National and Kambi should give Barstool Sportsbook all the technical know-how it needs to offer live betting during games.
Will Barstool Sports Launch an Online Casino?
The Penn National press release announcing the deal with Barstool Sports specifically mentions “iCasino products.” A Barstool Sports Casino is likely in the works, but information is limited.
Penn National says it will host an analyst meeting in June 2020 with more details:
Penn National Gaming will host an analyst day in June to discuss the Barstool Sports transaction further and expand upon the Company’s omni-channel vision for the convergence of sports betting and casino gaming.
Barstool Sportsbook Deposit Methods
As a licensed and legal sports betting provider, Barstool Sportsbook will most likely launch with a standard array of deposit methods. The deposit options offered by other licensed US betting sites serve as a preview of what types of banking methods may be offered when Barstool Sportsbook goes live.