Barstool Sports Sells 36% Stake to Penn National Gaming Casino Operator for $163 Million

“You gotta remember: Barstool started as a gambling rag,” founder Dave Portnoy said in an “emergency press conference” video posted to Twitter Wednesday

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy confirmed Wednesday that Penn National Gaming has purchased a minority stake in his company.

“May 14, 2018: That’s the date the United States government repealed the ban on sports gambling in the United States,” he said in a Twitter video announcement captioned, “Emergency Press Conference – All Aboard the Barstool Rocket Ship.” Portnoy reminded followers that back in 2018, he told Barstool CEO Erika Nardini: “This is it. This is our moment. This is our big next move.”

His confirmation of the investment came a few hours after the Wall Street Journal reported Penn National Gaming has agreed to buy a stake in the company for $163 million. Penn National also put out a press release confirming the figures.

“You gotta remember: Barstool started as a gambling rag,” Portnoy continued. “We have a deep history of gambling. It’s real. You can touch it. You can feel it. Unlike a lot of our competitors, who are just new to this and just throwing people on to grab this market, not us. It’s been part of what we’ve done for two decades.”

Portnoy said no one knows the gambling world better than Barstool, but the company needed a like-minded partner, which it found in Penn National Gaming.

“They have the infrastructure. We have this rabid audience, this fanbase craving it. Together, we’re going to create an omnipresent approach to gambling, on-premise and off-premise: Barstool casinos, bars, pizza places. You name it, we’re gonna build it, all fueled by the Barstool Media engine. It’s not going anywhere. It’s only growing.”

Portnoy explained that because Penn National is a publicly-traded company, the Barstool audience can now buy stock and get involved in the company.

Penn National president and CEO Jay Snowden said in a statement Wednesday morning that Barstool will enable his company “to attract a new, younger demographic.”

“In addition,” he continued, “with 66 million monthly unique visitors, we believe the significant reach of Barstool Sports and loyalty of its audience will lead to meaningful reductions in customer acquisition and promotional costs for our sports betting and online products, significantly enhancing profitability and driving value for our shareholders.”

Barstool will be hosting their second annual Rough N’ Rowdy Super Brawl II and Barstool Blackout Party in Miami on Friday night ahead of Super Bowl LIV, with FanDuel serving as an event partner.

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