Barstool Sportsbook Launching Thursday In Illinois Before March Madness

Posted on March 9, 2021

Barstool Sportsbook will launch in its third state this Thursday when its app goes live in Illinois.

That news comes from Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, who tweeted the news early Tuesday afternoon:

Penn National‘s Barstool Sportsbook will be the sixth sportsbook live in the surging IL sports betting market, launching just in time for March Madness betting. The market launched more than a year ago with in-person registration, but continued extensions of remote registration by Gov. JB Pritzker will help Barstool pick up customers and market share much quicker.

Barstool Sportsbook faces tough competition in IL

Barstool has a bit of work to do to crack the top three Illinois operators by handle.

Handle hit another record in December at $492 million. DraftKings Sportsbook took 40% of that total followed by:

  • FanDuel Sportsbook: 29%
  • BetRivers: 23%
  • PointsBet: 9%
  • William Hill: 6%

BetRivers share of 23% might fall easier than expected, though. Its market share was inflated at the end of last summer as the first operator to launch an Illinois sportsbook app. It also was the only one live to accept remote registration in Pritzker’s first round of executive orders.

More Barstool launches coming this year

The Barstool Sportsbook rollout has been a bit slow for anyone not in Pennsylvania (or more recently Michigan) that wants in on its bets and promotions.

Luckily for Barstool fans in legal gambling states, that soon will change.

Barstool Sportsbook will launch in a new state every three to five weeks after the Illinois launch, according to Penn CEO Jay Snowden on his company’s year-end conference call. The plan is to be live in at least 10 states by the end of 2021.

Barstool Sportsbook still facing RG criticism

While it’s hard to deny the success Barstool’s seen in its first two markets, there are plenty of critics that don’t like all their tactics.

Barstool has been called out more than a few times for their social media accounts that include less-than-responsible messaging at times.

According to comments to EGR from Snowden, criticism of Portnoy or the brand comes from “those that just don’t like Barstool.”

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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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