What Penn National Thinks Of Barstool Sportsbook So Far

Posted on October 30, 2020

It’s still early days, but so far the Barstool Sportsbook app has exceeded almost every internal goal Penn National set for it, according to Penn’s CEO.

That’s a good sign for Penn since the nationwide rollout is going to happen quickly, CEO Jay Snowden said.

“We plan on being live in every state where we operate and where sports betting and online casino is legal by the end of 2021,” Snowden said on the company’s third-quarter earnings call.

Except for which area?

The exception to those goals, Snowden said, is the percentage of in-game betting. That will come with time as Penn gets better at promoting those opportunities, like through push notifications.

Snowden also boasted how the app has succeeded so far without any meaningful external marketing spending, thanks to the Barstool Sports personalities promoting the brand. That of course does not factor in the acquisition cost of Barstool itself.

That lack of advertising dollars needed “reinforces our belief that we should be able to, in the medium and long-term, achieve a top-three market share position in both the sports betting and iCasino space across the country in states where we operate, and with best-in-class profitability,” Snowden said.

Barstool Sportsbook PA results so far

Some of Barstool’s numbers from its Pennsylvania sports betting operations are underwhelming compared to early results released by Penn, but others show promise.

The app has 61,000 downloads in Pennsylvania through Oct. 24. That’s a bit surprising as 35,000 had downloaded the app as of Sept. 21 after its first weekend.

Snowden also confirmed that a good number of the downloads thus far are not convertible because of location.

“If you follow the sort of population by state, that’s where you’d see the hit rates mostly on these downloads from outside the state of Pennsylvania,” Snowden said.

Penn’s conversion of those downloads has improved, however. The app had 30,000 first-time depositors as of Oct. 24, up from just 12,000 after the first weekend. That’s good for a 64% conversion rate of its 48,000 registrations.

The Reading effect

That could be skewed by a promotion Penn ran that would donate $100 to a beloved Philadelphia public marketplace with a $100 deposit on the app. That led to $150,000 in donations to Reading Terminal Market from Penn, Snowden said.

Barstool Sportsbook took $78 million in handle since launch, including $48.4 million in October. Penn noted its average bet was $62.

That October handle includes three NFL betting Sundays with one left in the month, which suggests Barstool should be at ~$60 million in handle for the full month.

Known customers betting 20% of handle

Of the 48,000 registrations in Pennsylvania, 95% of those customers were new to Penn National and its mychoice customer loyalty program.

That includes a mix of recreational customers as well as some sharp bettors too, Snowden noted. Interestingly, though, the 5% known to Penn is accountable for 20% of handle on the Barstool Sportsbook app.

Barstool Sportsbook exclusive content details

Penn National’s biggest differentiator is the content it works in with the Barstool personalities.

So far, 39% of its bettors have “Bet with Barstool” on the more than 75 exclusive bet opportunities offered. There have also been 4.5 million total livestream views of the Sportsbook House, where Barstool personalities watch games together.

Barstool Sportsbook also ran “The Overs Club” promotion, which won users a Barstool Sports-branded jacket if the over hit for on the NFL’s week 2 Monday Night Football matchup. The promotion, which required a $100 minimum bet, had 3,000 winners.

Retail sportsbooks important too

Penn National continues to tout the importance of physical sportsbooks for multiple reasons.

First, it gives the company a place where Barstool fans can come meet and bet with their favorite Barstool Sports personalities. This will eventually expand to other undefined entertainment opportunities which will likely be a spot that’s a virtual sportsbook by day with a nightlife element at night, Snowden said.

Penn National outlined four retail sportsbooks in development:

Retail books attracting younger, new customers

Most importantly, though, is that the books remain important to Penn’s land-based casino business, especially where mobile betting is not.

Penn highlighted the sportsbook at Hollywood Gulf Coast, which sits tucked away on a bay between New Orleans and Biloxi, Mississippi.

With no mobile betting available, the sportsbook has brought younger demographics and new customers to the casino. That’s led to some interesting statistics:

  • 77% of handle came from bettors under 50, with the under-40 demo betting 59% of the total.
  • 67% of rated sports betting handle is from customers that signed up since 2019.
  • 72% of rated sports bettors that bet more than $1,000 on sports also played slot or table games.
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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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