Barstool Sportsbook App Aims to Launch in Michigan Next
The Barstool Sportsbook app had a successful mobile sports betting debut in Pennsylvania, topping FanDuel and DraftKings in downloads during its opening weekend.
After establishing its presence in Pennsylvania, Barstool’s online app is planning its next launch in Michigan.
CHECK OUT: The top Michigan sportsbooks
In an interview with Fantini Research CEO Frank Fantini posted Wednesday, Penn National CEO Jay Snowden discussed the company’s plans to launch its mobile sports betting and online casino gaming products in Michigan this fall.
It’s a move that continues the company’s recent trend of gaining a presence in Michigan. Just last week, Greektown Casino-Hotel in Detroit, which is owned by Penn National, announced that its new retail sportsbook would be branded by Barstool.
“One of the things we’re very excited about is that the second state we’re launching in is the state of Michigan,” Snowden said in the Fantini interview video. “We’re excited. We have a lot to prove. The initial excitement around the launch of our app, the ratings we have and the user experience and retention rates have been great.”
Between Sept. 18-20, the Barstool Sportsbook app was downloaded more than 63,000 times, averaging 21,000 downloads a day during the Friday through Sunday period after going live. By comparison, DraftKings was downloaded 4,000 times in its debut weekend in New Jersey in 2018, while FanDuel’s app had 9,000 downloads during the 2018 NFL opening weekend.
“We think we’re largely growing the market, which is very important as opposed to just stealing a share,” Snowden said. “The Barstool audience is very loyal and we’ve been growing the market from what we can see and what the data is telling us.”
At the Michigan Starting Line
One advantage Barstool will have with its launch in Michigan compared to Pennsylvania is that the company will be debuting in the state at the same time as its competitors. The projected launch date is currently set for November, with mobile sports betting first and online casino gaming to follow suit.
“Michigan, we are going to be launching as opposed to playing catchup like we are in Pennsylvania where we are a year late to the game,” Snowden said. “In Michigan, the gun goes off, we’re all at the starting line.
“I think it’s going to be a nice proof point for us to show maybe what many other states will look like when we’ve had the appropriate time to play catch up. What does Michigan look like in month two and month three might be a fair indication of what it will look like across the country in the 20 states we operate in in a few years down the road.”
According to Snowden, Michigan will be the last state Barstool expands to this year. His hope is to have the Sportsbook app active in 12 states by the end of 2021 where online casinos are legal.
“I think you should expect us to go from one to two states in 2020, to over a dozen states that we’ll be live in with sports betting and online casino,” Snowden said. “We haven’t launched our online casino product within the Barstool Sportsbook app, and that will make it very competitive. We’re very excited.”
Barstool Sportsbook at Greektown Casino
The Greektown Casino is optimistic the brand can draw in customers to its new Barstool-branded retail sportsbook that’s set to open in November.
“I think it makes our sportsbook really unique and differentiates us from our competition,” Hugh Flack, Greektown vice president of gaming operations, said. “The Barstool brand is extremely exciting, and they have a very loyal following that’s growing by the minute. The big thing about their brand is that they want their followers to win and succeed. They’re great advocates for that brand.”
Excitement over the Barstool announcement was evident online. Greektown’s Twitter account sees limited traction on its posts, but the Barstool announcement received over 500 retweets and 2,500 likes.
Greektown is owned by Penn National Gaming, which announced on Jan. 29 it was taking a 36% interest in Barstool and becoming the sports media platform’s official gaming partner.
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