Barstool Sportsbook and Dave Portnoy, its founder, will never be accused of being shy with regards to their future plans to dominate the US legal sports betting scene. In the company’s latest move, Penn National, the parent company of the online betting brand Barstool Sports has gained market access into New York, a market that doesn’t even have a mobile betting platform as of yet.
Thanks to a strategic partnership with Rush Street Interactive (RSI), Barstool is making good on its commitment to make some noise within the US legal sports betting community. Already live in Pennsylvania and Michigan, the popular Barstool brand has signaled their desire to be relevant in at least 10 legal sports betting states this year, and a yet-to-be-launched New York internet-based sports betting market is apparently one such market.
Where New York Online Betting Sits
Right now, mobile betting in the state of New York still isn’t legal but there has been some serious momentum for the launch of such a platform. There are just four, upstate retail casinos making up New York’s total sports betting scene. Heavy, COVID-related budget deficits and a newfound openness by Governor Andrew Cuomo have paved the way for discussion on a mobile platform however as a mitigator of the financial state hardships.
There have been two sports betting bills introduced in New York since the calendar turned 2021 that paved the way for 14 possible online sportsbook licenses. With Penn National joining the parade of potential sports betting suitors in New York, the pressure is on legislators to get something done this year.
There are no guarantees of a legal sports betting platform in the state anytime soon, but at least discussions are being had and top-tier sports betting providers are lining up for the inevitability of an online platform being announced this year.
Big Gamble on the Big Apple
Barstool Sportsbook is taking a big gamble on the Big Apple, considering mobile sports betting isn’t even a thing yet in the state. But… there is a school of thought that their timing is perfect – that getting in on the ground floor will serve Barstool well in its future endeavors.
“Gaining potential access to what could become one of the nation’s most lucrative sports betting markets has been a major priority for our Company,” said Jon Kaplowitz, Penn National’s Sr. Vice President of Interactive Gaming. “We are hopeful that the New York State Assembly will follow those leading revenue producing states that allow for multiple skins for mobile sports betting. A state the size of New York certainly warrants open competition and a free market approach.”
New York, if and when a mobile sports betting platform is launched, will instantly become one of the more profitable markets in the US. And Barstool is getting a jump on that potential.
Some Details on the Rush Street Interactive Arrangement
Penn National and Barstool Sportsbook formed a unique partnership with Rush Street in order to gain access to the New York market. It is through an interesting two-way, mutually beneficial agreement with
RSI and its subsidiary, BetRivers that Barstool even has a chance at a potential launch in the Empire State.
Penn National’s Barstool brand gets a second legal sports betting skin in New York thanks to RSI in conjunction with Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady while RSI gains potential access to another jurisdiction that may or may not welcome their own legal sports betting platform, Texas, thanks to Penn National’s established presence there. RSI also gets second-skin market access to Ohio, Maryland, and Missouri in the deal.
Simply put, both brands benefit and gain access through pre-established skins into desired jurisdictions, some established, and some not.
Crystal Ball Time
With the how’s, what’s and when’s still up in the air, the who’s are starting to come into focus for the mobile sports betting scene in New York. Penn National’s Barstool Sports is among the biggest. We wait on the legislators of New York to do their thing now and do so with a newfound sense of optimism that bettors in the state will be able to place a bet from the comfort of their homes some time this year.
Make no mistake however – there is still a ton of work to do in the Empire State before Barstool’s risk pays off. But judging by the legislative momentum and the numbers coming out of neighboring New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Barstool’s New York risk seems to we worth it.