Penn National Plans to Take Complete Ownership of Barstool Sports

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Penn National Plans to Take Complete Ownership of Barstool Sports
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Penn National Gaming is in the process of taking complete ownership of Barstool Sports, according to Penn National’s chief executive officer.

Penn National, a publicly traded casino company headquartered in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, owns 36% of Barstool Sports but is going all-in on ownership.

“We look forward to being the owners of Barstool, 100%,” Penn National CEO Jay Snowden said during an earnings call with investors on Thursday.

Barstool, an online media company and bookmaker, was founded by Massachusetts native Dave Portnoy in 2003, first as a print publication and then as a digital enterprise.

Barstool operates a website and mobile sports betting app. It also manages sportsbooks inside casinos across the country.

Snowden noted that Barstool is profitable, having seen its revenue grow by 150% over the past two years.

Louisiana Numbers Point to Barstool Sportsbook Successes

As an example of the Barstool’s successes, Snowden pointed to the Louisiana sports betting market.

The retail sportsbooks inside Penn National’s five Louisiana casinos captured 53% of gross gaming revenue in the state during the third quarter of 2021, according to the Penn National earnings presentation. In-person sports betting began Oct. 31 inside state-regulated casinos in Louisiana.

Mobile sports waging was launched in Louisiana last Friday. The Bayou State has become the 12th state where the Barstool Sportsbook app is operational, Snowden said.

theScore Eying U.S.

Penn National plans to integrate its Canada-based media company, theScore, into Barstool’s operations for U.S. customers, Snowden said during the earnings call.

theScore operates in four states, with no plans to expand into other U.S. jurisdictions, except as an integrated part of Barstool, Snowden said. He added that this strategy might evolve.

The Penn National CEO said The Score, and theScore Bet wagering platform, are targeting the April 4 mobile sports betting launch in Ontario, Canada’s largest province. With about 15 million people, Ontario would be the fifth-largest state if it were in the U.S., Snowden noted.

The four most-populous U.S. states, in order, are California, Texas, Florida and New York. Of these, only New York has legal mobile sports betting.

Barstool Founder Responds to Allegations

Snowden began the earnings call by urging listeners to read Portnoy’s blog post on the Barstool website regarding new sexual allegations against the site’s founder.

Snowden said people should give the matter time to play out.

“There will be more to come in the coming days,” he said.

The New York Post reported Wednesday that Portnoy has pledged to sue Business Insider and its reporter over a new story alleging he “filmed sex with women without their consent.”

In his blog post, Portnoy called the allegations untrue. He has contended the encounters have been consensual.

Portnoy wrote on the blog post that somebody has to be “the guy who says enough is enough.”

‘Strong Balance Sheet’ Opens Penn National Growth Opportunities

During the call with investors, Snowden referred to an online earnings presentation showing the company’s 2021 fourth-quarter financial results.

Penn National’s revenues for the quarter were $1.6 billion, with a net income of $44.8 million, according to the slide presentation.

“Our strong balance sheet positions us to pursue growth opportunities and return capital to shareholders,” the presentation states.

Snowden also highlighted the company’s diversity and community involvement initiatives, including rewards programs for military veterans, active-duty personnel and first responders.

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