Barstool Sportsbook to Launch at Greektown Casino in Michigan

Barstool Sportsbook to Launch at Greektown Casino in Michigan
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The Greektown Casino-Hotel in Detroit has announced that its new retail sportsbook would be branded by Barstool.

The announcement comes just weeks after Barstool introduced its first sports betting app in Pennsylvania. It had said that more states would follow “in the coming months” after the Pennsylvania launch.

CHECK OUT: The top Michigan sportsbooks

With Michigan hopeful for a November launch with online sports betting and online casino gaming, Greektown looks to have positioned itself with one of the fastest growing online sports betting brands ahead of the state’s online launch.

“I think it makes our sportsbook really unique and differentiates us from our competition,” Hugh Flack, Greektown vice president of gaming operations, said Thursday. “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.”

The excitement over the early October announcement in MIchigan was evident by the social media attention the tweet received on Twitter. Greektown’s account typically only receives a handful of likes and traction for its posts, but the Barstool announcement garnered over 500 retweets and 2,500 likes. With Barstool’s popularity, Greektown will explore the possibility of further integration with the company going forward.

Greektown is owned by Penn National Gaming, which announced on Jan. 29 that it was acquiring a 36% interest in Barstool and becoming the sports media platform’s official gaming partner. Its shares, which trade on Nasdaq under “Penn,” have risen steadily since the acquisition.

Penn National did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Barstool Name Recognition

One of the things Greekotown will be looking to do “is finding opportunities in the future to have live or recorded events at our facility” with the Barstool personalities, Flack said.

“When the Barstool guys go to an event, they always attract a big crowd,” he said. “In addition, they obviously have a huge online presence. I want to say they reach millions of people through their online channels. And if you look at what their brand is all about, it’s all about sports and sports betting, so it’s a very easy tie-in to the sports betting industry that we’re now in.

“But it’ll be very powerful both from an online standpoint, and for the app, but also here for the retail sportsbook.”

CHECK OUT: Q&A With Michigan Gaming Control Board's Richard Kalm

The Barstool Sportsbook mobile app launched on Sept. 18 in Pennsylvania, the first state where the app became available.

In its first weekend of being available, the Barstool Sportsbook app was downloaded over 63,000 times, including a Saturday high of 23,000 downloads, according to data from Sensor Tower. It was helped by a busy weekend with MLB, NHL, college football, NFL and US Open golf in action.

By comparison, DraftKings' sportsbook received just 4,000 downloads during its opening weekend in New Jersey in August 2018, while FanDuel’s debut launch saw 9,000 downloads during the 2018 NFL opening weekend.

Flack said of the partnership with Barstool when the state goes online legally “basically allows us to jump right into the deep end.”

“For us, it’s going to be very powerful,” Flack said of the partnership with Barstool and its online app. “And the number of players it allows us to reach with very little effort coming right out of the box is going to definitely give us, I think, a heads-up in this market.”

Greektown 3rd in Detroit Sports Betting

Sportsbooks in Detroit have had a tumultuous start since opening in March. MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino and Greektown Casino were open for just five days before shutting down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

After the 4½-month layoff, the three sportsbooks reopened on Aug. 5 with a 15% occupancy level. In the first month since reopening, Detroit’s sportsbooks combined to take in $15 million in wagers, resulting in $1.97 million in revenue.

MGM Grand Detroit, with its BetMGM Sportsbook, held 48% of the market share handle ($7.5 million), while the FanDuel Sportsbook at MotorCity had 34% ($5.3 million) and Greektown recorded 18% ($2.8 million). MGM Grand Detroit was open for 25 days, and MotorCity and Greektown opened two days earlier than MGM.

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