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Barstool Sportsbook Has Been A Big Success And Dave Portnoy 'Couldn't Be Happier'

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Barstool Sportsbook Has Been A Big Success And Dave Portnoy 'Couldn't Be Happier'

Jason Raznick, founder and CEO of Benzinga, the largest news and data provider to global brokerages and news outlets, on his show the Raz Report discusses entrepreneurship, financial markets and overcoming challenges to success.

In this week's episode, Raznick sat down with Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy to talk about his journey, secrets to success, as well as his vision for the future.

Portnoy, who some may consider the new "King of All Media" due to his huge popularity on Twitter and Barstool's podcast network, discussed the company's latest foray into sports betting with the new Barstool Sportsbook mobile app, built in partnership with Penn National Gaming Inc (NASDAQ: PENN).

In A Position To Excel: In early September, Penn National Gaming soft-launched the Barstool Sportsbook App in Pennsylvania, which passed a bill legalizing the activity in 2019.

The development comes after Penn acquired a 36% interest in Barstool Sports to utilize the brand for betting and iCasino products. With the new app, Barstool and Penn are tapping into a multi-billion dollar industry that lets people use their phones to wager on sports, as well as play online casino and fantasy games.

Portnoy told Raznick that Barstool has acquired a significant amount of market share in light of the pandemic, with no marketing spend.

“Twelve or thirteen percent,” he said in an expression of optimism. “We’re firmly number three. DraftKings, FanDuel one and two, us three.”

Overcoming Adversities: Raznick pointed out that Barstool Sports, which was in a position to purchase both of its competitors, through its live-streamed content has been able to drive further engagement and enthusiasm around its efforts than others.

“We are in a company that has physical casinos which when we did the deal, to me, was like a huge advantage,” Portnoy said in reference to the pandemic’s impact on the dynamics of Barstool’s partnership with Penn. “We were going to have the on-premise, off-premise, one-two punch, but COVID hit like three seconds later.”

Portnoy opted for a non-formal approach with live-streamed debates and gambling during sports events, undercutting his competitors' advertising spend by nearly half a billion dollars.

“It was a win,” he said on live-streaming picks and gambling in Philadelphia, which he moved to grow the Sportsbook.

What’s Next: Getting better at technology, as well as improving the app's functionality and overall engagement.

“We’ve got to get better in tech,” Portnoy stated on his commitment to improving in-app bet transparency, visual aesthetics, and communication. “Those things. We’ve thought all about them and they’ll be coming. Penn already started down the path of building this app before we had the deal, so we kind of came into it in the fifth or six innings of them building the app.”

“A lot of the ideas that we would have loved to have implemented couldn’t be done in version one, but it will be.”

Raznick touched on the app's resounding success in light of pessimism by prominent short sellers of Penn National’s stock.

“You know, everything we do crashes, so that probably speaks to us and our tech,” said Portnoy. “But yes, there’s more we’ve got to do to create unique bets and engagement. But, the nuts and bolts of it -- great -- I couldn’t be happier."

 

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