Barstool Sportsbook has partnered with Greektown Casino in Detroit to target its second state, Michigan, for sports betting operations.
Greektown Casino is operated by Penn National, who acquired a 36% stake in Barstool Sports earlier this year. The Great Lakes State is the second state for the Barstool Sportsbook to enter, after first landing in Pennsylvania last month. Michigan too will now benefit from Barstool Sportsbook as it will be launching its mobile sports betting app early next year. However, this launch is different since the app will launch simultaneously amongst other operators, rather than entering an already established market over a year old.
While commenting on the situation during a video interview, Penn National CEO Jay Snowden said, “I reckon it’s going to be a nice proof point to show what many other states will look like when we’ve had the appropriate time to play catch up.”
Sports betting in the state of Michigan launched amid the coronavirus peak in March. Online sports betting is likely to kick off in the state in November and added online casinos should be going live soon afterwards.
Barstool Sportsbook does not intend to stop in Michigan and plans to launch its app in 12 states by the end of 2021. This will include online casinos in states where it is legal.
Michigan Will Be This Year’s Last Launch for Barstool Sportsbook
Michigan will be the second and the last launch of Barstool Sportsbook in 2020.
This is quite surprising given that Penn National planned to launch five other states, but didn’t. These states include Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, and West Virginia, where Penn National seems to have missed out on the strategic NFL betting season.
Another potential market that Penn National missed is Tennessee, which has no limit imposed on sports betting licenses. This is perhaps due to the exceptional requirement of 10% hold which has repelled many sportsbook operators in the state. The same reason might have deterred Penn from launching its sports betting in Tennessee when sports betting goes live on November 1.
Barstool Sportsbook Shows Early Success in Pennsylvania
Barstool Sportsbook debuted on September 18 in Pennsylvania, hitting record numbers within the first weekend. As many as 63,000 sports fans downloaded the sportsbook app on the first weekend.
The popularity of Barstool Sportsbook in Pennsylvania eclipsed the fame of DraftKings and FanDuel, the two largest betting entities in the US. On the weekend that these two online sportsbooks entered Pennsylvania, their apps’ combined number of downloads was 13,000, which was 50,000 lesser downloads than Barstool.
Although the timing of Barstool Sportsbook’s launch is given much credit as it came amidst the full sports action in September, its sports media empire also serves to promote its betting brand. Inevitably, the record download rates for Barstool Sportsbook coincided with an impressive first weekend, with $11 million in handle. This was followed by $12.5 million over the second weekend.
Greektown Casino and Michigan Sports Betting
Michigan sports betting had an unfortunate start, mainly due to the timing; the launch came shortly before the pandemic-led measures resulted in country-wide shutdowns.
When Detroit casinos eventually reopened after months of closures and at reduced capacity, FanDuel and BetMGM drew hefty returns in August. Of the three casinos, Greektown could only draw in 18% of the betting revenue, compared to the lion’s share that was claimed by BetMGM and FanDuel, with 48% and 34%, respectively.
Barstool Sportsbook’s arrival in Michigan’s betting market is likely to serve as the catalyst in the state’s industry. Though the app’s launch will take a few months, retail sportsbooks will enable Greektown and Barstool Sportsbook build a customer base around the area. However, Barstool Sportsbook is likely to capitalize on the Michigan sports betting market once mobile betting is available in the state.