Will Being Fully Acquired By Penn Entertainment Help Boost Barstool In Michigan?

Written By Drew Ellis on March 7, 2023
Barstool Sportsbook MI, Penn National

Last month, Penn Entertainment completed its acquisition of Barstool Sports.

Barstool has developed itself into a big name in sports betting and gambling over the years.

Now, under the control of Penn Entertainment, will Barstool remain a big name in the Michigan online gambling industry?

Penn acquires Barstool over three years

In February of 2020, Penn Entertainment acquired a 36% stake in Barstool Sports.

That eventually led to last month’s 100% acquisition for approximately $388 million on Feb. 17.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Barstool Sports fully into the PENN Entertainment family,” said PENN Entertainment CEO and President, Jay Snowden. “Barstool is a proven, powerful media brand with an authentic voice and vast, loyal audience that provides us with a strong top of funnel for new customer acquisition and organic cross-selling opportunities across our growing interactive division. Barstool, combined with theScore’s reach and highly engaged user base, creates a massive digital footprint and ecosystem that will serve to propel Barstool Sportsbook and our uniquely integrated media and gaming business. Further, the Barstool Sportsbook will greatly benefit from the upcoming migration to our proprietary technology stack, a move that will significantly enhance the overall product offering and deliver meaningful upside.”

Dave Portnoy founded the company back in 2003 and has a large social media following. It has grown into its own online network with well-known characters like Portnoy and Big Cat.

Since Penn invested into Barstool, its audience has grown 194%, while ad sales have increased by 160%.

“Barstool Sports is bigger than ever and has become more than I ever dreamed of,” said Dave Portnoy, Founder of Barstool Sports. “I’m very thankful to the Barstool team and Stoolies who have been along for the ride. I’m looking forward to this next chapter with PENN.”

Barstool Sportsbook a big name in Michigan

Barstool Sportsbook has been a polarizing online sports betting option.

Thanks to its social media presence and gambling-heavy content, its online sportsbook has managed to spread itself to 15 different states.

Nationally, Barstool Sportsbook has 4.5% of the online market share for betting handle.

Barstool has also been a steady presence in the Michigan sports betting game.

It partnered with Hollywood Casino at Greektown for a Barstool retail sportsbook inside the casino. Last year, Barstool retail sportsbook brought in $260.5 million in handle for Hollywood Casino.

Online, Barstool sportsbook brought in $339.8 million in handle with its platform in 2022. That accounted for 7.5% of Michigan’s online handle share.

Between the two, Barstool is approaching $1 billion in all-time handle between its retail and online sportsbooks in Michigan. That ranks fourth of Michigan’s 15 operations.

Barstool online casino MI trying to find its legs

While Barstool’s sports betting presence has been large in Michigan, its online casino presence could use work.

Since Michigan online casinos launched in January of 2021, Barstool has brought in $97.9 million in revenue. That ranks seventh among state’s 15 online operators.

Michigan has been setting records for online casino revenue throughout the winter, but Barstool hasn’t been seeing the same trend.

The state has seen four consecutive record revenue months, dating back to October of 2022. Barstool Casino, on the other hand, has seen a decrease in revenue every month since October.

Barstool had $4.6 million of revenue in October, but has fallen back to $4.1 million in January. January’s total accounted for just 2.7% of Michigan’s market share.

Penn Entertainment stock has leveled off

On Tuesday morning, Penn Entertainment Inc. opened with a stock value of $30.32.

The stock was valued at $36.87 back when PENN first invested in Barstool in February of 2020.

In the next 13 months, the stock soared and reached a peak of $130.47 in March of 2021.

Since then, it took a quick fall back to the $30-level. It’s low was $27.40 in June, but it has been between $37 and $27 since last April.

Photo by PlayMichigan
Drew Ellis Avatar
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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis is currently the Lead Writer of PlayILottery.com. He was the former Lead Writer of PlayMichigan, the No. 1 source for online gambling news in Michigan. A lifelong resident of the state, Ellis has been working in various forms of media since 1998, including more than a decade in the sports betting industry prior to transitioning into US casino markets in 2020.

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