The much-anticipated Barstool Sportsbook is now live in Pennsylvania.
It comes with an army of fans, a bombastic “El Presidente” David Portnoy and high hopes from Penn National.
The “soft launch” test period runs for limited time periods from September 15-17. During those times, the Barstool Sportsbook will be available to a limited number of pre-registered participants who will be able to make wagers and access all of the features of the app.
Following the three-day test period and regulatory approvals from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, Barstool Sportsbook will be available to users 24/7. Users can access it via desktop or by downloading in the Apple App Store.
Through its partnership with Hollywood Casino, Pennsylvania will be the first state Barstool launches its sportsbook. A press release indicated that Penn National plans to bring the Barstool Sportsbook app to additional states in the coming months.
Some pre-registered users got an email saying they were selected to use the Barstool Sportsbook app during the “Early Access” period. They received a one-time code to get entry to the soft-launch and create one new account.
Barstool is the tenth online sportsbook in Pennsylvania. It is the first to limit the number of users during the test period.
During Penn National’s January acquisition of Barstool, they touted its 66 million monthly unique visitors. Jay Snowden, President and Chief Executive Officer of Penn National, said:
“We believe the significant reach of Barstool Sports and loyalty of its audience will lead to meaningful reductions in customer acquisition and promotional costs for our sports betting and online products, significantly enhancing profitability and driving value for our shareholders.”
Of course, all 66 million people aren’t located in Pennsylvania or are going to download the app. However, the arrival of Barstool’s sports betting product comes with much anticipation and an already built-in audience.
Presuming the site meets all requirements, it will be open to anyone 21+ and physically located in PA to register, deposit funds and wager on Friday, Sept. 18.
A look at Barstool Sportsbook
Barstool Sportsbook comes with the standard wagering options and in-game wagering, cross-sport parlays, moneylines, futures, teasers, round robins, and numerous prop bets. Deposit and withdraw methods are similar to other PA sportsbook apps.
Barstool Sportsbook Exclusives:
- Barstool Personality Picks and Parlays: Daily opportunities to follow or fade the Barstool team’s picks and parlays picks and parlays
- Quick Pick 6: A system-generated, random 6-leg parlay where bettors can control the legs and the wager
- Daily Odds Boosts
Also, the app has a “Move the Line” scroller that allows users to buy and sell points by using a scroller button.
Penn National betting big on Barstool
In late January, Penn National Gaming acquired a 36% stake in Barstool Sports for $163 million in cash and stock. The transaction valued Barstool at $450 million. The agreement gives Penn National the sole rights to use Barstool Sports brand for its online sports betting and online casino products.
At the SBC Digital Summit North America in July, Jay Snowden, President and CEO of Penn National Gaming, discussed the acquisition.
“We knew the one thing that we were missing from a sports betting perspective at Penn was a brand to lead with and an audience to market to. We had great casino brands but our audience today tends to skew older – 45-plus – and the sports bettors tend to skew younger – 21 to 45 – so that’s where we started to look at who we might want to partner with and of course we eventually bought Barstool.”
“We’re going to lead with the Barstool brand from an online sports betting perspective,” he said. “We’re also in the process of converting our existing retail sportsbooks inside of our casinos and our sports bars to Barstool branded sportsbooks and sports bars.”
Penn National stock soars on Barstool launch day
Penn National Gaming stock ($PENN) opened NASDAQ trading at $65.54 a share on Tuesday. It hit a 52-week high of $69.77 a share at around 11:25 a.m.
PENN’s stock gained steam when they announced the Barstool deal in late January. It wasn’t immune to the jarring effects of COVID-19 and and sunk to less than $4 share price in March. But it bounced back in July reaching $37 a share, then coming on strong in late August at $56.
A book with interesting characters
With the arrival of the Barstool Sportsbook, Pennsylvania will have ten online sportsbooks. However, until now only Fox Bet uses personalities to market their product.
The Barstool Sportsbook will be unique in that it’s a sports media company entering the sports betting vertical. Also, no other sportsbook has an outspoken and sometimes controversial face of the product like Portnoy.
Said Snowden during the SBC Digital Summit:
“We obviously spent a lot of time doing diligence on Barstool and we got very comfortable with making an investment in Barstool. Dave Portnoy and the folks at Barstool are a sort of meshing of Sports Center and Howard Stern and reality TV. It’s a sports media company, but at the end of the day these are entertainers. They create content – they’re comedians.”
Penn’s latest gaming app joins its current offering of a Hollywood online casino and sportsbook.