Illinois Sports Betting is up and Running with Barstool Sportsbook

Jay Dieffenbach

Illinois sports bettors found more good news on Thursday as Barstool Sportsbook began operations at noon local time.

The Penn National Gaming sports-betting app launched in the Land of Lincoln at a prime time on the sports calendar, and Penn National shares rose with that optimism.

“We are extremely excited to launch our online Barstool Sportsbook in Illinois just as the college basketball regular season wraps up and bettors begin their preparations for March Madness,” Penn National Chief Executive Jay Snowden said in a statement, later citing the benefits of the partnership.

“As the only gaming operator with a fully integrated sports media and entertainment partner, our customers in Illinois will now be able to engage with these Barstool personalities through the online Barstool Sportsbook and enjoy their unique take on Chicago sports.”

And the company stock responded with a 4% rise on the market, with shares trading at $130.97 to close Thursday – quite a bump from the $96 share price from late last Friday.

Penn National will bring some spice to the betting menu of options, too.

Among those expected to be offered:

  • Odds boosts on the Cubs and White Sox to win the 2021 World Series
  • A $1,000 risk-free bet after an initial deposit (if the bettor loses that bet, Barstool will refund the wager with site credit)
  • Multiple wagering options surrounding the NCAA men’s basketball tournament

Penn National is the country’s largest regional casino owner, with 41 properties across 19 states.

Barstool Sportsbook Agreement Details

The Barstool agreement, reached in late January, was hailed as a huge step forward.

“This exciting new partnership with Barstool Sports reflects our strategy to continue evolving from the nation’s largest regional gaming operator, with 41 properties in 19 states, to a best-in-class omni-channel provider of retail and online gaming and sports betting entertainment,” Snowden said at the time.

“With its leading digital content, well-known brand and deep roots in sports betting, Barstool Sports is the ideal partner for Penn National and will enable us to attract a new, younger demographic, which will nicely complement our existing customer database.”

Snowden also knows it can’t hurt that Barstool, at the time, had 66 million unique visitors capable of rapidly expanding the Penn National Gaming reach.

Illinois now has six online sportsbooks, with Barstool following the most recent, William Hill, which launched Sept. 15.

The state’s sportsbook lineup: Barstool, BetRivers, FanDuelPointsBet, DraftKings and William Hill and BetMGM could join the group soon.

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