Penn Entertainment Completes $338M Purchase Of Barstool Sports

Written By Hill Kerby on February 21, 2023
Barstool Sportsbook & Casino NJ

It’s official. Dave Portnoy is now a Penn Entertainment employee after Penn completed its acquisition of Barstool Sports on Feb. 17.

The deal was announced via press release. Penn acquired Barstool’s remaining assets for $388 million, including its media productions, live events, sportsbooks and online casinos. The purchase comes three years after Penn bought 36% of the company in 2020.

During the initial agreement, both parties laid out a framework for Penn to take over Barstool Sports fully. Penn also acquired Canadian powerhouse Score Media in 2021 for $2 billion to further its influence in sports and iGaming.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Barstool Sports fully into the PENN Entertainment family,” said PENN Entertainment CEO and President, Jay Snowden. “Barstool is a proven, powerful media brand with an authentic voice and vast, loyal audience that provides us with a strong top of funnel for new customer acquisition and organic cross-selling opportunities across our growing interactive division. Barstool, combined with theScore’s reach and highly engaged user base, creates a massive digital footprint and ecosystem that will serve to propel Barstool Sportsbook and our uniquely integrated media and gaming business.”

More about Penn Entertainment’s new asset

Since its inception in 2003, Barstool Sports has grown its brand to become an industry leader in digital media and entertainment, with over 200 million worldwide followers.

Across its podcasts, videos and social media, it boasts a lineup of over 100 shows with 90-plus different sports personalities. It also hosts live events like the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl and pay-per-view wrestling matches.

The Barstool Sportsbook app has expanded into 15 states, and Penn has introduced branded retail Barstool Sportsbooks at its properties across the country. The Barstool Casino operates in four states, too.

This includes the Garden State where the Barstool NJ sports betting app operates under the Freehold Raceway license. Barstool Casino falls under the Resorts Digital license (NJ online casinos must partner with an Atlantic City casino).

Lastly, Penn gets a worthy partner to expand its own brand. In a press release, Penn said it would continue collaborating with Barstool to push the envelope on providing integrated gaming and entertainment experiences

Penn Entertainment expanding on Barstool Sports growth

Penn has been putting its stamp on Barstool since it entered the picture, which makes sense when considering its plans for total acquisition. Over the last three years, Penn has helped Barstool accomplish a handful of feats.

  • 194% growth in audience
  • 160% increase in ad sales
  • Over 128 billion video views
  • Expanded live event programming
  • Over 5 million items sold (apparel, licensed products and accessories)

Oh, and what about Barstool’s entrance into NJ sports betting and NJ gambling in the first place? 

That all came after Penn’s investment, too.

Change will come, but NJ gamblers will not notice it

Here’s what Portnoy said of the acquisition:

“Barstool Sports is bigger than ever and has become more than I ever dreamed of. I’m very thankful to the Barstool team and Stoolies who have been along for the ride. I’m looking forward to this next chapter with PENN.”

What is actually in store for the next chapter, though? 

According to Portnoy, nothing will change moving forward. Portnoy knew Penn’s acquisition dates when the initial investment came and didn’t even have a call regarding any changes from the takeover.

In other words, Penn bought Barstool for the brand it is. What you see is what you will still get. 

If Penn didn’t like Barstool’s product, it would have done something already or never invested in the first place.

With its presence, Penn gives Barstool an avenue toward continued growth. Changes will take place on the backend, with Penn integrating Barstool into its organizational systems, as confirmed by Snowden:

“​​The Barstool Sportsbook will greatly benefit from the upcoming migration to our proprietary technology stack, a move that will significantly enhance the overall product offering and deliver meaningful upside.”

Sounds like Barstool will continue to operate as it always has, just with more ammunition.

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Hill Kerby

Hill Kerby comes from a background of poker, sports and psychology. He brings all of that expertise into his writing, where he contributes content in the growing legalized sports betting, online casino and gambling industry.

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