Penn National gains potential access to NY online sports betting through deal with Rivers Schenectady Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · February 23, 2021 at 7:37 am Penn National Gaming, through an agreement with Rivers Casino in Schenectady, New York, plans to gain a foothold in the Empire State if lawmakers approve mobile sports betting. For now, the idea is a longshot as the governor wants the state’s gaming commission to operate sports betting through one of four commercial casinos. Meanwhile, New York lawmakers may consider legislation that would allow the state’s casinos – which currently have retail sportsbooks – to launch online sports betting with multiple skins. Through a 20-year partnership with Rivers, Penn National said Monday it would launch its Barstool Sports app into New York through one of the casino’s skins. The Barstool app is currently available in Pennsylvania and Michigan and is expected to launch next month in Illinois. Penn National leadership plans to roll the sports betting app in at least 10 states by the end of the year. Penn acquired 36% of Barstool Sports last year for $136 million. The company’s sports betting potential based on the media platform has been credited with quadrupling Penn’s stock price in the last 12 months. Shares of Penn, traded on the Nasdaq, closed Monday at $117.82, down $2.53, or 2.10%. Penn’s stock reached an all-time high of $129 per share on Feb. 5. “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,” Penn National Senior Vice President of Interactive Gaming Jon Kaplowitz said in a statement. Penn National operates 41 casinos in 19 states. The company will soon have 20 states when it’s approved to take over the operations of Hollywood Casino Perryville in Maryland this year. New York is not one of the states where Penn operates a casino. A sportsbook at Rivers Schenectady is operated by Rush Street Interactive, on the online and sports betting arm of Rivers’ owner, Rush Street Gaming. Many states where sports betting is legal, which as Colorado, Indiana, and Iowa, allow casino operators to offer multiple sports wagering skins. “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,” Kaplowitz said. A state the size of New York certainly warrants open competition and a free market approach.” Also on Monday, Rush Street Interactive struck a similar market access agreement for potential sports betting skins in three states where Penn National has casinos – Ohio, Maryland and Missouri. Only Maryland has legalized sports betting and expects to launch this year. Lawmakers in Ohio and Missouri are considering the activity. “The addition of Ohio, Maryland and Missouri to our market access portfolio, specifically, builds on Rush Street Interactive’s success in neighboring states and will create enhanced marketing efficiencies for our BetRivers.com brand.” Said Rush Street Interactive President Richard Schwartz. New York potential New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in January sports betting tax revenues would the state close a four-year budget gap, estimated at between $70 billion to $75 billion. Cuomo said New York has the potential to be “the largest sports wagering market” in the U.S. A study conducted by Spectrum Gaming estimated the state’s four commercial casinos and three Native American gaming tribes could take in more than $1 billion in online sports betting bets, which would lead to roughly $100 million in taxes for the state government. “There is tremendous excitement in the industry about online sports betting in New York,” said Rivers Schenectady General Manager Justin Moore. “In anticipation of online sports betting coming to New York, Rivers and Penn National have come to this agreement.” Moore said if mobile sports wagering is approved by New York, BetRivers would have the first skin. Mobile sports betting in New York could cut into business currently lost to sportsbooks in New Jersey, which offers mobile sports betting. New York City residents often drive or take a train to New Jersey, sign up for mobile sports betting accounts, and wager online there. FanDuel told Bloomberg News a year ago that an estimated 22% of its New Jersey online wagers came from New York residents. During the Barstool’s first four months in Pennsylvania, Penn took in more than $218.1 million in total sports wagers, including $71.8 million in December. The company did not provide a revenue figure based on the handle. However, during the 10 days at the end of January that Barstool was live in Michigan, Penn said the app took in more than $27.5 million in wagers, which accounted for more than $3.3 million in revenues. The key according to analysts is the lower cost Penn pays for customer acquisition. Barstool came to the table with a built-in loyal following of some 66 million nationwide fans who regularly log on to the platform’s social-media sites. “We remain very confident in our ability to win sizable share in new markets based on the power of the Barstool brand and media assets,” Kaplowitz said. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.