Business By The Books: Barstool Completes Sports Betting Tech Move

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Penn Entertainment completed tech migration for Barstool Sportsbook, with its sports betting and online casino now on the company’s proprietary technology, the company said Friday.

The migration from Kambi‘s third-party platform to the company’s own tech stack that has been running theScore Bet in Ontario was completed simultaneously across all of Penn’s 16 jurisdictions last week during the MLB All-Star break.

CEO Jay Snowden said during its fourth-quarter earnings call in February that Penn was in a “hurry up and wait” situation until the new tech rolled out.

He expects negative EBITDA for the third quarter as the company ramps up marketing of the new platform for the start of the NFL betting season.

New sports betting, iGaming app features

The upgraded tech should be noticeable in a few areas, according to Penn’s press release:

“Having full control of our product and roadmap will lead to improved operational efficiency and the ability to quickly introduce new features, bespoke promotions and wagering markets,” Snowden said. “I want to congratulate our Interactive team members who worked tirelessly to ensure a successful on schedule migration, which better positions us to compete in the online gaming space.”

Questions on Penn timeline

The Penn management team seems pleased completing a tech migration that took “an enormous amount of coordination and planning,” Head of Penn Interactive Benjie Levy said.

Not everyone thought Penn was ready for a such a heavy lift after the company migrated theScore Bet onto the tech in Ontario last summer.

“Migrating 12-plus sites in 12-15 months in a heavily regulated environment is no easy feat, especially if you haven’t done it before,” said Avi Howard, the CEO of gambling tech firm USAbility.

“Technology teams often seem too confident with delivery dates of such large transformations, without having gone through similar projects before. These are the projects most CTOs might do once in their career. Experience in migrations is crucial if you want to make it a success. This is even more important in the case of public company under the eyes of shareholders. Failure is not an option.”

888 terminates FS Gaming talks

Any talk of bringing in former Entain executives to run 888 are off after FS Gaming‘s interest in 888 brought a license review by the GB Gambling Commission.

FS Gaming recently took a 6.57% stake in 888, which operates SI Sportsbook in the US. That included a 2.02% stake owned by Shay Segev, the former CEO of Entain.

FS Gaming pitched Lee Feldman, Kenny Alexander and Stephen Morana as Chair, CEO and CFO, respectively, to 888. The GBGC, however, was concerned, considering the UK’s tax authority is investigating Entain’s activities in Turkey when all three men were still with the company, and opened a review of 888’s license given FS Gaming’s investment.

When 888 asked for clarification from FS Gaming about the GBGC’s concerns, the “most basic assurances that addressed these concerns were not forthcoming.”

bet365 sports betting felt in Virginia

The Virginia Lottery reported at its quarterly meeting last week that bet365 is making waves in Virginia since launching at the end of January.

The brand took 3.61% of handle share during January through May, which equals $82.5 million in handle over that span. Considering the app was barely available in January, though, it may be more accurate to report a handle share closer to 4.5% for February through May.

That may seem small without context, especially given the brand’s performance in Ohio, which launched legal betting in January. Virginia has been live for two and a half years, though, and bet365 already ranks as the fifth-best operator in terms of handle share over that five-month span:

Bet365 also deducted nearly $14.9 million in promos from taxable revenue, or 92.4% of the $16.1 million deducted for those first five months. Only five operators could deduct over the period, given Virginia’s 12-month cap on promo deductions introduced last year.

Bally’s live dealer deal with Stakelogic

Bally’s is partnering with Stakelogic, a European live casino supplier, for its Rhode Island online casino that should launch in April 2024.

Stakelogic previously received licenses in the US, including in Michigan and Pennsylvania, but it is not live in the country.

Stakelogic CEO Stephan van den Oetelaar said this deal “finally enable(s)” the company to bring its technology to the US.

Kindred launches new PA sports betting platform

Kindred‘s Unibet migrated to the company’s proprietary technology platform in Pennsylvania on July 10, the company said.

The launch follows a migration in New Jersey that took place in May.

“Since launching in New Jersey, our customers have reported enhanced design, navigation and stability,” said interim CEO Nils Andén. “We look forward to rolling out the Kindred platform to further states.”

PA enhances self-exclusion tools

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board improved its online self-exclusion tools for anyone looking to opt out of gaming, including sports betting.

The new online program allows individuals to enroll in one or all self-exclusion programs, extend their self-exclusion period ,and access links to gambling disorder information.

GLI promotes two

GLI promoted both Joseph Bunevith and Kelly Myers as part of an enhanced Government and Regulatory Affairs team.

Bunevith is now VP of government relations and regulatory affairs. Myers is director of government affairs.