Pressure Mounts as Bettors Anxious for a Barstool Sportsbook App in New Jersey
- Recent results in nearby Pennsylvania driving a likely intro into sports gambling capital NJ
- Barstool app setting download records for the initial days of the performance.
- Barstool’s performance a great boost for Penn National Gaming’s otherwise challenging 2020
Coming on the heels of Penn National Gaming’s successful Barstool Sportsbook launch in nearby Pennsylvania, there is some anxiety and anticipation when will bettors see a similar app available in New Jersey. Surely it will be for no need of a place to wager, for bettors now have 12 brick and mortar locations and 17 online wagering opportunities to bet in the nation’s most populated sports betting market.
Given that perspective, it would seem difficult for any new operator to make any kind of dent or splash in the market, especially the US most mature market with leaders like DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel, and others involved for over two years. That certainly will not derail ambitions at Penn National, who have achieved great initial success since bringing their newly acquired Barstool Sportsbook brand into the PA market recently.
For now, Barstool Sportsbook appears in only one US state. Its website and app started in Pennsylvania on Sept. 18th, already marking records for downloads in its first days in service. It should be noted that downloads are not the same as traffic in funded accounts. It began the venture in partnership with PNG, a large casino conglomerate who operate 41 casinos in 19 states.
Perhaps the Jersey Clue
Penn National Gaming raised $932.1 million through a stock sale concluding Tuesday trading with the casino company saying that proceeds would help accelerate the launch of its Barstool sports betting app into new markets. In an accompanying statement, Penn CEO Jay Snowden said wagers on the Barstool app grew by 14% last weekend over the previous week’s launch, “despite PNG continuing to spend $0 in external marketing.”
The company then sold 16.1 million shares on the open market. 14M for the company and 2.1M shares exercised by the underwriters. The company’s stock was put at a value of $61 per share for the sale. On Tuesday shares of PNG were put at $69.41 on the Nasdaq, reflecting a downturn of $3.51, or 4.81%.
Snowden added, “This successful offering provides our company with additional resources to accelerate our unique omnichannel strategy, including launching the Barstool Sportsbook app in new markets,”
Those statements might have been a reference to the colossal amount of national spending recently from major competitors DraftKings and FanDuel. Also, a reference that PNG will likely use the stock sale toward promoting their next market in New Jersey.
About Barstool Plans
Earlier this year in January Penn National made big headlines to acquire 36% of sports media platform Barstool. It offered great potential as Barstool has an estimated 66 million viewers on its website and social media content. The business plan was to introduce and rebrand PNG retail sportsbooks under the Barstool familiar brand name while simultaneously launching the app. The primary goals were to increase the demographic sphere of Penn National Gaming’s overall customer range, which traditionally skewed to a 45 and older base.
Initial expectations and hopes were realized when the company witnessed over 65,000 downloads of the Barstool app during its opening Pennsylvania weekend. Deposits to the app totaled approximately $11 million during that period.
Evidently, the Barstool acquisition has been a tremendous overall boost on what might have been a difficult overall 2020. PNG has rallied considerably since March when the shock of Covid-19 caused state leaders and tribal governments to quickly close nearly 1,000 commercial and Indian casinos in 43 states.
Along with the trend, PNG closed its properties and furloughed 26,000 employees by early April. The company traded ownership of Tropicana Las Vegas plus an under-construction casino in PA for $337.5 million in rent credits to Gaming and Leisure Properties (GLPI). Penn National Gaming then retained management of the Las Vegas Strip resort, which has since reopened.
Continuing recent momentum and results in PA, it is highly likely the Barstool name and sportsbook app will appear for New Jersey bettors to use sometime before the end of 2020.
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Larry Gibbs is both a seasoned journalist and a respected online gaming industry consultant. His wry commentary & sharp analysis have appeared in numerous top gaming and sports wagering publications. He has also served as Vice President of US Gaming Services, a marketing research organization with 15 years of experience in US online wagering. He has spoken at noted gaming industry conferences including G2E, GiGSE, and NCLGS.