Penn National Gaming (PNG) has officially announced the launch of its first Barstool Sports-branded retail sportsbook in the US. With significant pride, the company announced it will be the first involving a significant rollout planned for the immediate future.
The Barstool-branded sports betting facility opened on November 5 at the operator’s Ameristar Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk in Colorado. Situated on the second floor of the property’s casino, the Barstool facility features sports betting kiosks and ticket writer stations. The betting area also includes a 24-by-12-foot video wall and large odds boards.
Commenting on the launch, Jay Snowden, CEO of Penn National, described the retail venue as “the first of many Barstool Sportsbooks” to appear at their casinos across the US. He added:
Each will incorporate several features that reflect the spirit of the Barstool Sports brand, resulting in unique betting experiences that we expect our customers will thoroughly enjoy.
The sportsbook plan was envisioned to capitalize on involving the US continuing momentum pursuing the growing sportsbook market. PNG entered their partnership with Barstool Sports in January 2020. They acquired a 36% share of the company in total cash and stock deal of $163 million. After the initial three-deal period, the interest will increase to 50%, following an additional investment of $62 million by Penn National Gaming.
In the wording of the agreement, Penn National will remain Barstool’s exclusive gaming partner for up to 40 years. As an operator, they can use the Barstool name for the company’s online and retail sports betting business plus their online casino business product.
Like all gaming companies throughout the world, PNG has suffered a challenging year due to Covid-19. The opening in Colorado comes after PNG last week reported a 16.6% drop in revenue for its third quarter, though earnings reached record highs as the business bounced back from the Coronavirus.
Penn National reported revenue of $1.13 billion for the third quarter of 2020, a decrease of 17% year-on-year. Despite this, EBITDA saw a 10% increase from 2019 levels, totaling $343.6 million. For the first nine months of 2020, total revenue was $2.55 billion, down 36% from last year. The company’s Northeast segment generated the highest revenue with $1.17 billion a decline of 34% year-on-year.
Breaking down the individual challenges during Q3 PNG reported the impact of Hurricane Laura on L’Auberge Lake Charles plus the continued closure of their Zia Park in New Mexico casinos and facilities. They are currently operating but under limited capacity as are those Penn National properties in the Midwest.
Sports wagering has gotten off to a great, enthusiastic start in Colorado with numerous operators successfully involved including DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel, BetMGM, and others. Over 1.3 million voters participated in deciding the issue last November. It was passed favorably by over 20,000 state voters.
Colorado legislation dictates operators must partner with one of the state’s land-based casinos opening a sportsbook. An approved casino can partner with a land-based and online operator. They have the option to also maintain the same partner for both operations. The tax rate for sports betting is a modest 10%. The state now joins New Jersey totaling the largest number of individual sports gaming operators at 14.
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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.
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