Penn National to open three sportsbooks

Penn National Gaming’s Barstool-branded sportsbooks will open inside three of the regional casino company’s properties over the next two days.

The locations will open on Wednesday at Greektown Casino in Detroit and Hollywood Casino in Lawrencetown, Indiana and on Thursday at Ameristar East Chicago in Indiana. All three locations are subject to final state regulatory approvals in the two states.

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During Penn’s third-quarter conference call in October, CEO Jay Snowden said the company would begin rolling out the Barstool sportsbooks at a handful of its casinos. The first location opened in November in Colorado at Ameristar Black Hawk.

“The new designs incorporate the spirit of the Barstool Sports brand, resulting in unique sports wagering and dining experiences that we expect our customers will thoroughly enjoy,” Penn National Senior Vice President of Regional Rafael Verde said in a statement.

Penn National operates 41 gaming locations in 19 states. The company spent $163 million in January to acquire 36% of the sports media platform Barstool, which has roughly 66 million users of its website and social media content.

Penn plans to launch its Barstool sports betting app early next year in Michigan and will target additional states throughout 2021. The app is currently only available in Pennsylvania. The goal, Snowden said, is to launch sports betting in every state in which Penn has a gaming property and where the activity has been legalized, which could soon be as high as 20 states.

In Detroit, the Barstool Sportsbook is located on the second floor of Greektown, adjacent to the table games area. The company’s other rebranded sportsbooks are located near the entrance to the casino floor at Hollywood Lawrenceburg and by the entrance to the property at Ameristar East Chicago with the Barstool theme.

All three locations feature a sports viewing area and dining space, a betting counter with large odds boards, numerous sports betting kiosks, and ticket writer stations. The wagering is in close proximity to dining and numerous televisions showcasing sports action from across the country.

By launching the Barstool-branded sportsbooks, Penn hopes to change and increase the reach of the demographic make-up of its customer base, which currently skews to ages 45 and older.

Michigan had ordered its casinos closed in November due to a resurgence in COVID-19. The governor allowed casinos to reopen Wednesday, and Penn is coinciding with Barstool’s launch with Greektown’s reopening in the evening.

“The passionate sports fans in Detroit and throughout Michigan have been excitedly awaiting the opening of our new Barstool Sportsbook,” said Greektown General Manager John Drake.

In October, Snowden said Penn is developing standalone Barstool-branded entertainment destinations for various markets.

“These locations will serve as virtual sportsbooks in large metropolitan areas in states with approved online sports betting, which we believe will further expand the reach of the Barstool brand and help us acquire new customers at attractive economics,” Snowden said.

Shares of Penn, traded on the Nasdaq, closed at $95.72 Tuesday, up $3 or 3.24%

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