Barstool Sportsbook App Makes A Splash in Pennsylvania Launch

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Penn National Gaming’s Barstool Sportsbook app shattered download marks by DraftKings and FanDuel over the weekend. The much-publicized sports betting app created by Penn National and Barstool Sports had a three-day soft launch in Pennsylvania last week before going live during the weekend. Preliminary data on Pennsylvania sports betting were very impressive.

Better Opening Numbers Than FanDuel and DraftKings

According to market intelligence firm Sensor Tower, the Barstool Sportsbook app was downloaded 63,000 times during the weekend or an average of 21,000 downloads per day. The numbers are significantly higher than the 4,000 downloads that DraftKings got during its first weekend in 2018 and its single-day high of 15,000 downloads during the opening of the NFL earlier this month.

Similarly, the Barstool Sportsbook app’s weekend numbers topped FanDuel’s inaugural weekend total of 9,000 downloads during the opening weekend of the 2018 NFL season. FanDuel established a single-day high of 19,000 downloads last September 13 as the NFL’s 2020 season opened but Barstool’s 21K downloads per day last weekend was still better.

Expanding The Industry

Per Morgan Stanley analyst Thomas Allen, the app’s downloads started out “extremely strong” yet the download numbers for its competitors didn’t seem to slow “meaningfully”. That bodes well for Pennsylvania sports betting as Allen notes that the Barstool Sportsbook app isn’t “cannibalizing” the industry but merely expanding it.

Allen downgraded Penn National and DraftKings last month from overweight to “equal-weight”. The Morgan Stanley analyst cited valuation as the reason for the downgrade with both stocks going sky-high this year. DaftKings went public last April and as of Monday’s closing, the stock had risen 194% since then. Meanwhile, Penn Gaming had a gain of 416% during the same period.

Too Early To Tell

Obviously, it’s too early too tell whether Penn Gaming’s new app will become a national force. Sure, Pennsylvania sports betting is a major wagering market but it is only one state. Penn Gaming plans to launch in several states in the first quarter of 2021. DraftKings and FanDuel are etched in the other states as well with other major competitors like BetMGM, William Hill, FoxBet, and PointsBet contending for market shares as well.

Barstool’s launch was well-timed and it debuted in a mature betting market. On the other hand, DraftKings and FanDuel launched without the same fanfare and before the U.S. Supreme Court thrashed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. Despite these apples to oranges comparison, there is no question that the Barstool Sportsbook app made a splash during its opening weekend.