Barstool Readies For 2021 With 3 Retail Sportsbook Launches

Its mobile sports betting app is exclusive to Pennsylvania, but by the end of the week, retail Barstool Sportsbooks will be up and running in three other states, Colorado, Michigan, and Indiana.

All of the launches are facilitated by Penn National after it chose Barstool as the face of its US sports betting plans in a $163 million deal earlier this year.

The retail launches are a precursor for the launch of the Barstool mobile sports betting app in three additional states.

Barstool Sportsbook in Colorado

Ameristar Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk can lay claim to Barstool’s first retail sportsbook.

“We are very excited to be opening the first Barstool Sportsbook in the country at Ameristar Black Hawk,” said Jay Snowden, President, and CEO of Penn National Gaming. “This will be the first of many new retail locations for Barstool Sportsbooks at our casinos nationwide. Each will incorporate several features that reflect the spirit of the Barstool Sports brand, resulting in unique sports betting experiences that we expect our customers will thoroughly enjoy.”

The ribbon-cutting of the retail sportsbook occurred on November 5. And as the picture below clearly shows, the location is swimming in Barstool branded advertising, from the One Bite pizza review app to popular Barstool podcasts.

Colorado has proven to be a mobile-heavy market, with 98% of all wagers occurring through digital channels. Part of that is COVID-19 restrictions, but mobile is expected to account for 90% of wagers even in more normal times.

As such, Barstool’s sports betting prospects in Colorado will hinge on the performance of its yet-to-be-released mobile offering.

Barstool Sportsbooks in Indiana

In Indiana, the company will open its Barstool Sportsbooks at Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg later today and at Ameristar East Chicago Casino & Hotel tomorrow, subject to final regulatory approvals. Both locations are rebrands of existing retail sportsbooks on the properties, and both feature a similar design to the existing Barstool sportsbook in Colorado.

“We are very excited to be opening our newly branded Barstool Sportsbooks,” said Penn National senior vice president of regional operations Rafael Verde. “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.

“Hollywood Lawrenceburg and Ameristar East Chicago have been offering sports wagering in Indiana for well over a year. The passionate sports fans in the Tri-State area and Chicagoland have been eagerly awaiting the opening of our new Barstool Sportsbooks, and we look forward to introducing both in the coming days.”

Like Colorado, Indiana is also a mobile-heavy sports betting market, with more than 80% of all wagers coming through digital channels.

Barstool Sportsbook in Michigan

Later today, Penn National will also open its Barstool Sportsbook at Greektown Casino Hotel in Michigan. Unlike Pennsylvania, the company expects to be among the first group of sports betting mobile operators to launch in early to mid-January.

As a first-mover in the state, Michigan is where Barstool plans to make its case as a US sports betting market leader. The company’s emphasis on Michigan is evident in the retail sportsbook design at Greektown, and the overall social media push the company is giving it.

“We are thrilled to be opening our new Barstool Sportsbook,” said Greektown Casino vice president and general manager John Drake. “The new design showcases the spirit of the Barstool Sports brand, resulting in an outstanding sports wagering experience that we expect our customers will thoroughly enjoy.”

The Barstool Mobile Sports Betting App in Pennsylvania

With just a few months under its belt, Barstool’s mobile betting app has risen to the #3 spot in the market, with an 11.8% market share in a very crowded and competitive market.

What is interesting about Barstool’s early performance is how it handled its late entry into the Pennsylvania market. The company has relied on organic marketing, eschewing traditional advertising channels.

That strategy will become increasingly difficult as it enters new markets, and its leading personalities have to juggle multiple local advertising campaigns. That said, the company possesses unique assets in the sports betting space (personalities, popular podcasts, and an astounding social media reach) and can add more traditional marketing approaches at any point in time.

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