Monday morning started with a bang as Penn National Gaming looks to gain access to a huge market. The announcement will turn plenty of heads as they announced a strategic partnership with Rivers Casino for a second skin license. Located in Schenectady, New York, the Penn National and Rivers Casino’s agreement could set Penn National up for an early launch of its Barstool Sportsbook brand if online sports betting is legalized and allows for multiple skins per license.
Recently, Governor Cuomo discussed interest in NYC sports betting. However, he also talked about a state-run lottery model, which is bad news for sportsbooks. A lottery model would feature a single app that is run by the state. The model would completely cut the sportsbooks out of the market and undoubtedly frustrate the bettor.
A major part of betting strategies is to search around for the best odds across the market. The discussed model would disallow such a strategy. Needless to say, companies like DraftKings, Penn National Gaming (Barstool), and FanDuel are hopeful for a full sportsbook launch in the “Big Apple.”
Lottery Model Would Kill Penn National, New York Deal
Penn National is very aware that this agreement could be useless if the lottery model is used in New York. Even so, they are willing to take the risk because New York’s market is that big. Penn National operates the Barstool Sportsbook brand, which is making a big push to launch in a dozen states this year alone.
In a quote from the press release, Sr. Vice President Jon Kaplowitz said,
“Gaining potential access to what could become one of the nation’s most lucrative sports betting markets has been a major priority for our Company,” said Jon Kaplowitz, Penn National’s Sr. Vice President of Interactive Gaming.
“We are hopeful that the New York State Assembly will follow those leading revenue producing states that allow for multiple skins for mobile sports betting. A state the size of New York certainly warrants open competition and a free market approach,” said Mr. Kaplowitz.
In many ways, this is a plea to New York regulating bodies. A lottery model could easily end up being a disaster in New York. So much so that New Jersey would still have the opportunity to gain usage from New York residents. New Jersey had over $6 billion in total bets taken in 2020. This is with sports hitting a complete pause from March – June.
Barstool Sportsbook sees the value that New York would bring. Expect them to be extremely aggressive in their pursuit of legalized sports betting. An open market would be ideal for all major parties involved.