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Penn National prepares Barstool Sportsbook live test in PA


Regional casino operator Penn National Gaming is preparing for a test launch of its long-awaited real-money sportsbook featuring the Barstool Sports brand in Pennsylvania. 

The test launch was approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, pending final iOS app approval, and is due to take place between September 15-17.

Following the test, Penn National intends to officially launch the app for customers in the state on September 18, subject to final regulatory approvals.

The initial soft test launch will be made available to a limited selection of pre-registered participants, who will gain access to the full features of the application, including real-money wagering.

Barstool and Penn National will work with regulators to test the system and make any necessary refinements before the full launch on September 18.

The operator then intends to launch the app in additional states in the coming months.

“The Barstool Sportsbook app is the centerpiece of our Company’s omni-channel strategy,” Penn National president and chief executive Jay Snowden said.

“Since forming our exclusive sports betting and igaming partnership with Barstool Sports in January, our product, marketing and operations teams have worked hand-in-hand with Barstool’s top talent, including Dave Portnoy and Dan ‘Big Cat’ Katz, to create a sports betting experience that we’re confident will appeal to Barstool’s army of loyal followers, as well as our extensive database of existing casino customers and sports betting fans at large.”

He went on to explain that customers will have the opportunity to engage with Barstool’s talent on the app, including betting with or against their predictions.

Snowden offered thanks to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board for their time and effort in reviewing and approving the app. He went on to thank the staff of Penn Interactive and partners at Barstool Sports, as well as the operator’s online betting and gaming software providers, Kambi and White Hat Gaming.

Penn National signed its sports wagering and online casino partnership with Barstool Sports in January this year, in a deal which saw the operator acquire a 36% stake in the digital sports media company.

The acquisition was completed for approximately $163m in February, under the agreement that Penn National would increase its stake in Barstool to around 50% over the next three years.

Penn continues to ink deals with online operators, having teamed up with GAN to release a social casino app in August, and agreeing a market access partnership with Kindred Group to offer online betting and gaming Illinois and Ohio in September.