Penn to leverage Barstool brand for online casino, poker

Barstool Casino Part Of Penn National’s New Plan For Online Gambling

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Penn National is aiming to operate multiple online casino brands following its acquisition of a stake in Barstool Sports.

The casino giant announced this week that it bought a 36% share in Barstool for $163 million in cash and stock.

In an investor call after the deal Wednesday morning, Penn indicated Barstool would become its primary brand for sports betting and an integral part of its roadmap for online casino, too. The attached presentation featured iCasino prominently.

Barstool Casino in the works

Head of Penn Interactive Jon Kaplowitz told investors that the company intends to deploy multiple online casino brands — including a Barstool Casino — to cater to different groups of customers.

“Barstool Casino, I expect, would be focused a lot more on table games and poker than maybe Hollywood Casino, which we launched in Pennsylvania and is more focused on slots,” Kaplowitz said. “Most successful online gaming companies in Europe have several different apps they work with across sports and casino, and I would envision the same to be true for Penn.”

Penn said it has 50 developers and engineers working on its products in Philadelphia. The team is working with White Hat Gaming on the player account management (PAM) platform, and with Kambi on the sports tech.

“We are using a rent-to-own strategy, and we envisage we will own the player experience on our app as we move forward,” Kaplowitz added.

Expect the first Barstool-branded betting app to go live in August.

Penn + Barstool basics

Under the agreement, Penn will be Barstool Sports’ exclusive gaming partner for up to 40 years and have sole rights to use the Barstool Sports brand for online and retail sports betting and online casino products.

The deal also sees Penn up its ownership stake to 50% in three years and then take full ownership if it desires. The transaction valued the Barstool enterprise at $450 million.

Erika Nardini, Barstool CEO, added: “The chance to combine our content and fans with Penn National’s massive footprint, and to develop a unique and compelling omni-channel approach together, was for us a no-brainer.”

- Brad has been covering the online gambling industry in Europe and the US for more than four years, most recently as the news editor at EGR Global.
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