Penn National Shoots For the Moon With Barstool Sportsbook Launch

The long-awaited, Barstool Sportsbook will take its first bets in Pennsylvania this week drawing plenty of buzz across the industry. Their sportsbook will officially soft launch on Friday, Sept. 18, garnering excitement from investors and players alike. 

Earlier in the week, fans were able to download the app but that is where the product stopped. The app is able to be downloaded and said, “Barstool Sportsbook is undergoing scheduled testing by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. We will be back soon!” 

Pennsylvania’s Gaming Control Board will make sure the product is up to code before moving forward to its launch Friday. 

As of Wednesday, fans are now able create an account and browse the app for betting options but not place any bets until Friday. 

Barstool Sportsbook is partnered with Hollywood Casino PA which is managed by Penn National. Penn Nationals’ strength across the United States will surely continue to help the Barstool Sportsbook App gaining legislation elsewhere. 

Penn National manages casinos in Indiana, Colorado, and Nevada so expect these to be their immediate targets to launch their product in the near future.

Penn National Inc. Market Cap Rockets After the Purchase of Barstool Sports Inc. 

In January of 2020, Penn National Gaming Inc. announced it was acquiring a 36% interest in Barstool Sports Inc. for approx. $163 million setting the stage for the Barstool Sportsbook to launch.

Penn National Head of Interactive Jon Kaplowitz stated in the press release his excitement in purchasing Barstool Sports Inc. and the future of the Barstool Sportsbook.

“We look forward to introducing our 20 million mychoice customers to the Barstool Sportsbook brand through our retail sportsbooks and our interactive products. Our growing team of product and engineering talent at Penn Interactive is focused on what we anticipate will be a best-in-class sports betting app, which is expected to launch in the third quarter of 2020.”

Prior to the purchase of Barstool Sports Inc., Penn National featured a steady market cap hovering around $2 billion. It then hit $3 billion for the first time in January and then $4 billion within two weeks of the purchase of Barstool Sports Inc. 

Penn National Inc. stock took a scary hit when COVID-19 was at its peak in March. Their market cap tumbled down as low as $550 million on March 18 before a quick rebound. 

After serious turmoil, Penn National bounced back strong showing the investment in Barstool Sports would be a good one. 7 months later, Penn National Inc. is now over a $9.5 billion market cap. 

What felt impossible a few months ago, PENN is now competing with the largest companies in the industry. Quickly moving towards MGM Resorts International (NSDQ: MGM) $11 billion market cap and already slightly higher than the $9.2 billion boasted by Caesars Entertainment Inc. (NSDQ: CZR). PENN is poised for further gains this week and next week at the least with the launch. 

PENN’s Industry Experience + Barstool’s Media Empire Pack a Powerful 1-2 Combination

Of note for users who intend to use the Barstool Sportsbook App immediately, there is a solid first deposit bonus of a $500 risk-free bet and a $10 no deposit bonus. Rollover requirements are not yet listed but this is a strong start for the newcomer. 

Barstool will be grabbing users from across a very competitive state. Their sportsbook is the 11th to launch in Pennsylvania and hopes to take a stranglehold on the PA market before long. 

Barstool Sports Inc. President Dave Portnoy is not shy to make any headlines. Per his Twitter account, Portnoy makes some ambitious proclamations by saying, “What will happen to $Penn when I force the Barstool Sportsbook to be the #1 app in the App Store on Friday in the sports category?” 

There is little doubt that Barstool Sports has a cult-like following so the downloads are going to come quickly during their Friday launch, whether it will be top of the App Store is a lofty goal from El Presidente. 

While Dave Portnoy could get the downloads that he demands, the question will be if the stoolies push his sportsbook, “to the moon”. 

Penn National sure is counting on it.

About the Author

Erich Richter

A New York based freelance writer and gambling expert specializing in the sports industry. Written on numerous platforms with SEO certifications and a diehard Mets, Giants and Knicks fan (it’s been tough). Interests include keeping up to date on the newest features and technologies from sportsbooks since beta testing several of the legal gaming companies upon their inception.