The long-awaited, much-anticipated Penn National Barstool Sportsbook has been live in Pennsylvania for just over a week now and so far, it hasn’t disappointed. The book started with a three-day soft launch just over a week ago and officially went live last weekend, in time to take advantage of a crammed weekend of sports action that included NBA, NCAA football, NFL, NHL, and US Open action.
Pennsylvania is only the jumping-off-point for Barstool Sports in their plans to become a dominant factor in the US legal sports betting scene. Penn National has thrown a lot of resources behind the controversial Barstool brand, hoping to flip some of their impressive 66 million dedicated Barstool viewers into avid sports betting fans.
Market intelligence firm Sensor Tower tracked the sign-up numbers for the Barstool Sportsbook launch and identified 63,000 downloads over a three-day period, which translates to 21,000 per day during its first weekend plus. Keep in mind that it was just in Pennsylvania where the market was already nearing maturity and most avid gamblers were already signed up with a mobile betting provider.
“Although data is limited, initial metrics are encouraging, as it was the #1 sports betting and overall sports app in the App Store for much of the weekend,” said Bank of America analyst Shaun Kelley in a note to clients.
Barstool’s launch easily eclipses what similar sports betting giants were able to accomplish in their first weeks of operation. In 2018 one of the two DFS global giants launched their sportsbooks and saw about 4000 signups per day on the first weekend while their direct competitor launched their sports betting platform almost exactly one year ago and saw an average of 19,000 sign-ups during their first weekend of availability.
What One Analyst Thinks
Everybody involved has to be happy with what the sportsbook accomplished in their first full week of operation. Bringing some of Barstool’s throng of followers had to be the goal for Penn National and it looks as though some did indeed sign up for the sportsbook app.
To put it in perspective, on the first day of launch, the Barstool Sportsbook app was the sixth-most downloaded sports app in the Apple App Store, behind only heavy-hitters like NFL.com, ESPN.com, and a U.S. Open tracking sites.
“Our initial impressions are positive given the app’s ease of use and leverage of the Barstool brand to create a unique interactive experience. We think the app targets more of a casual bettor than competitors.” said Bank of America analyst Shaun Kelley.
…And the markets are taking note.
What the Stock Market Thinks
The leadup to the Barstool Sportsbook launch provided a huge boost to Penn National stock. It had climbed 29% in the month leading up to Barstool going live. It did dip slightly however to start the week, along with other sectors that are dependent on the eradication of COVID-19 but is expected to rise again.
Shaun Kelley, Bank of America analyst is on record saying: “While the stock has had an amazing run, we still like PENN, given its attractive exposure to sports betting/iGaming and an improving core business. Penn’s ability to drive conversion from downloads to deposits and deposits to bets/revenue is the next critical step.”
Stock analysts predict that Penn National stock still has room to grow thanks to the Barstool effect. At least three industry experts including Kelley feel Penn National stock can hit $85, which represents another 23% increase from where it stands today. Barstool Sportsbook’s expansion plans are tied directly to the bullish forecast.
It’s a far cry from the $4 per share low that Penn National experienced in March.
Barstool on Its Way
It took some time for Barstool Sports to bring their app to market but now that it is here, expectations are sky-high. And why not? They have proven to be a highly successful, yet controversial brand that has developed and maintained an incredible following.
Barstool looks to be on its way to becoming a major factor in the US legal betting industry. Pennsylvania’s launch has been a success but seems to be just a precursor for what is to come for the brand.