Barstool Sports has grown into one of the largest media corporations in the United States in the last four or five years, but they aren’t close to being done yet.

Since Barstool’s outspoken, pizza reviewing founder Dave Portnoy’s $450-million-dollar deal with Penn National Gaming became official in January 2020, the Barstool team has traveled to different states across the country to celebrate the opening of the Barstool Sportsbook, but they are hoping to take it to a new level in Pennsylvania.

Stools on the ground in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is one of the states that Barstool has a virtual sports book for fans to gamble on their teams through, but they want to take it to another level with physical buildings across the state.

Penn National Gaming is opening a new casino, Hollywood Casino York, which is expected to open doors in August. The property, a former shopping mall, will include a “Barstool Sportsbook and Bar,” according to the casino’s general manager Ruben Warren. The new casino joins other existing buildings in the state, the Hollywood Casino in Grantville and the Meadows in Washington. Both are going to carry the Barstool brand, as well.

The Hollywood Casino in Grantville suffered from the pandemic with the sports book closing, but sports betting windows and kiosks are available. The sports lounge is also still closed, but when it reopens it will have received a significant facelift with a brand new look and a Barstool’s name printed outside the space.

Hollywood Casino York joins an already existing group of satellite casinos in Pennsylvania, which have all been authorized by the state government. The new casino is reportedly going to host between 500-750 slot machines, 40 table games and, of course, the Barstool sponsored sportsbook. Opening of the casino is expected in late August.


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Penn National Growing because of Barstool’s brand

Penn National’s decision to acquire Barstool Sports for over $400-million-dollars last year has proved to be a worthwhile investment. Barstool’s brand seems to grow seemingly by the day and with “stoolies” being as passionate as ever Penn National has seen growth since losses suffered from the pandemic.

At the turn of the calendar to 2021, Penn National posted $1.3-billion dollars in revenue, a decrease of over 20% compared to the 2019. However, net income increased from a loss of $92.9 millions to a positive $12.7-million.

Barstool’s sportsbook is often favored by gamblers because of the prizes and low-risk bets that can be made when first starting with the book. The book is famous for great deals that sometimes hurt Portnoy’s wallet, but help build popularity for the brand across states including Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.

In April, Barstool saw gross revenue of $2.6-million, but because of the promotions and bonuses that make the sportsbook popular, the company gave out $2.7-million in total to players. That’s where Penn National’s expertise is expected to come in. Penn National’s history in the industry can help Portnoy’s company better connect with customers in different states.

Barstool’s parties coming at the right time

When Barstool launched in Indiana they did it on the weekend of the Indy 500 and threw a massive party that was available for anyone who made a $250 bet on the Barstool “Exclusives – Bet with Barstool – Barstool 500” section.

Portnoy’s party included the likes of music stars Machine Gun Kelly and DJ artists Diplo to go along with an open bar for all the guests. Some of Barstool’s biggest personalities including Big Cat and Eddie were in attendance for the 5,000 person party.

Barstool’s decision to have parties to celebrate the opening of their sportsbook in Indiana comes at a time when the CDC has rolled back COVID-19 mask restrictions with more Americans receiving the vaccine. The parties create large excitement around the sportsbook and create a larger market for the Barstool team to connect with.

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Alec Busse is a journalism student at the University of Illinois with a minor in public relations entering his senior year. Alec covers Illinois football and men's basketball for Orange and Blue News, is a game picker for Tallysight and co-hosts the Inside the Arc Podcast. Alec is from O'Fallon, IL, a suburb of St. Louis and grew up cheering for the St. Louis Cardinals and Blues, Chicago Bears and Illinois Fighting Illini.

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