Barstool Sports set to launch new app in September

Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini says its sports gambling app will make the company a more competitive market player in the betting industry.

Barstool Sports is aiming to launch its anticipated sports betting app in time for the 2020 NFL season in September, CEO Erika Nardini said during an appearance Thursday on FOX Business Network.

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Barstool Sportsbook will debut as U.S. sports leagues, including the NBA and MLB, return to play this summer after a months-long pause during the coronavirus pandemic. Aside from the sports betting app itself, Barstool plans to establish brick-and-mortar sportsbooks at Penn National casinos around the country.

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Nardini said Penn National’s “massive footprint” and Barstool’s unique personalities, including founder Dave Portnoy, will give its sports betting push an advantage on the competition.

“Everyone at Barstool will be using the Barstool Sportsbook. We’re going to be talking about it all the time online,” Nardini told FOX Business Network anchor Liz Claman. “We’re going to have a hand in creating the parlays and thinking about the bets. We’re going to have some fun with it.”

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Barstool is launching its sports betting operation at a time of growing competition in the legal gambling marketplace. Rivals include FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM, a subsidiary of MGM Resorts. DraftKings shares have surged since the company began public trading in April.

Best known for its blogging and podcast empire, Barstool has focused on sports betting content since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal ban in May 2018. Penn National acquired a 36 percent stake in Barstool in a deal that valued the company at $450 million last January.

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Nardini said Barstool is confident that its sportsbook app will generate plenty of betting action upon launch, even with an uncertain outlook for U.S. sports during the pandemic.

“Bettors will bet on anything,” Nardini said. “They’ll bet on the ponies, they’ll bet on hockey, they’ll bet on tennis. Tennis is the second-largest betting pool on the planet, so there’s so much betting activity around tennis. You’ll find people betting around Bulgarian soccer. Bettors will find most anything to bet on.”

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