Penn National’s Newest Gambit Linked to Bar Stool: Freestanding Sports Bars


Penn National Gaming has been busy on several fronts lately in Pennsylvania: opening a mini-casino, preparing to finish another, renaming a long-standing racetrack-casino, expanding its online sports betting and casino operations. line.

And at a quarterly earnings conference with investment analysts Thursday morning, Penn National President and CEO Jay Snowden added an upcoming Barstool-branded sports bar in Philadelphia to the list.

The company, which is a co-owner of multi-channel media site Barstool Sports, uses that entity’s colorful personalities to promote the Barstool Sportsbook online in Pennsylvania and nine other states now.

When Hollywood Casino York opened in August as the state’s second mini-casino, Penn National made the Barstool brand part of the sports bar-connected retail bookie. It does the same with its Hollywood Casino Morgantown location, which is due to open in Berks County before the end of the year.

He is also in the process of converting sports betting from the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course and the recently renamed Hollywood Casino at The Meadows to the Barstool brand.

Snowden said Thursday that the latest wrinkle is that undisclosed urban locations in Philadelphia and Chicago “in the next few months” will open as Barstool-branded stand-alone sports bars. They won’t be able to handle betting like sports betting does, but he expects many customers to digitally bet on their Barstool Sportsbook app while eating, drinking and watching games. The bookmaker is currently positioned with BetMGM as the state’s third most used online bookmaker, although the two are well behind FanDuel and DraftKings.

“We have several more in line,” Snowden said of the sports bars. “We’re very excited about it… something we can do that no one else can do in the [sportsbook operator] space out. “

The brand is visibly powerful

Penn National has noted how its retail sports betting operations tend to be boosted when carrying the Barstool brand, which it has gradually rolled out across the country where it owns properties and legal sports betting exists.

Following a recent promotional event featuring Barstool’s Dave Portnoy and Dan Katz at Hollywood Casino Aurora in Ill., Snowden said, the online Barstool Sportsbook has won nearly 10,000 new depositors over a five-year period. days. This was especially crucial in Illinois, as in-person casino registration is currently required for those who wish to be able to use an app to bet.

Barstool Sports has a “loyal fan base who really care about the brand and feel like they are part of the brand,” said Snowden, which Penn National is able to tap into to avoid filling the airwaves with ads. expensive, as do its competitors.

He said the company expects this same connection to help it withstand a high tax rate exceeding 50% in New York State if it is able to enter the future market for mobile telephony, although reports suggest that the offering it is part of is not one of the two. ready to be accepted. Snowden is also counting on Penn National’s recent acquisition of Toronto-based theScore to similarly help when Ontario launches commercial sports betting, now expected in early 2022, as theScore has its own followers on the market. Canada’s most popular sports media site.

Happy with the first mini-casino, getting ready for the second

Without going into the details of the Hollywood Casino York opening, Snowden noted that it was a model to help the company roll out its new cashless gaming technology as a ‘built for the future’ casino. . The property generated $ 6.7 million in gaming revenue in September, including a daily slot machine payout that was the second highest in the state and more table game revenue than Live! Pittsburgh Mini-Casino in Westmoreland County.

“Although still early, we were encouraged by the combined performances of Hollywood York and Hollywood Casino at Penn National Racecourse. We are confident in our ability to develop the global market due to the positioning of our properties in the region, particularly with the planned opening of Hollywood Casino Morgantown later this year, pending regulatory approvals, ”said Snowden.

“We recently opened a Career Center and are accepting applications for approximately 375 new positions at Hollywood Casino Morgantown, which will include approximately 750 slots and 30 table games, a Sportsbook barstool and several food and beverage outlets. “

Penn National has yet to announce a specific opening date for the newest mini-casino, which, unlike others that have opened in shopping malls, has been built from the ground up on vacant land near ‘a Pennsylvania Turnpike interchange.

Photo: Shutterstock

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