Penn National Poised to Go Live in Illinois With Barstool Sportsbook App

  • The sportsbook will be available on mobile and online platforms starting noon March 11
  • It will offer various betting options in relation to the March Madness basketball tournament
  • Fans can engage with established Chicago sports media personalities via the sportsbook
  • The Barstool Sportsbook facility in Michigan generated total handle of $27.5m in just ten days
  • CEO Snowden said Penn was eager to leverage the “building momentum” of the betting app
Illinois welcome road sign
Penn National Gaming got the green light to roll out its online and mobile Barstool Sportsbook services in Illinois on Thursday. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Launch includes odds boosts on 2021 World Series

With its application for online sports wagering approved by the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB), Penn National Gaming’s Barstool Sportsbook is all set to launch on mobile and online platforms in the state this week.

The US gaming and betting provider announced via Twitter that the Barstool Sportsbook app is available for download and will launch at noon on March 11:

According to a press release, a variety of promotional bets are in the cards when the Wyomissing, Pennsylvania-based casino operator rolls out its online Barstool Sportsbook on Thursday.

Illinois sports fans can look forward to odds boosts on Major League Baseball franchises Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox to win the 2021 World Series, plus access various betting options based on the imminent March Madness college basketball tournament. Illinoisans can also avail themselves of a $1,000 risk-free wager after placing an initial deposit.

Windy City windfall for sports fans

The Barstool Sportsbook app rollout in Illinois comes at an opportune time. The US college basketball season ends March 14, the same day Selection Sunday whets bettors’ appetites for the March 18 start of the 2021 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)’s men’s basketball tournament.

Known and branded as March Madness, the NCAA Division 1 tournament is one of the most celebrated annual sporting events in the US. The knockout-format tournament takes place mostly in March, and this year it ends with the Championship Game on April 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Downtown Indiana, Indianapolis.

Judging by his press release comments, Penn National CEO Jay Snowden is understandably excited. He pointed out how the architect of Barstool Chicago Dan ‘Big Cat’ Katz and collaborators “Chief, Eddie, Carl, and ‘White Sox’ Dave” have built up a big following in Illinois through their Chicago-sports-focused Red Line Radio podcast, in addition to daily blogs and social media content.

the only gaming operator with a fully integrated sports and media entertainment partner”

“As the only gaming operator with a fully integrated sports and media entertainment partner, 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,” Snowden said.

Will Penn’s Illinois debut mirror Michigan’s?

Penn National’s Philadelphia-based subsidiary Penn Interactive got off to a dream start in Michigan last month after the launch of its Barstool-branded sportsbook facility at Greektown Casino-Hotel in Detroit. According to figures from the Michigan Gaming Control Board, 48,400 people registered with the sportsbook in its first ten days of operation, placing bets that generated total handle of $27.5m.

Snowden pointed to the “building momentum” of the Barstool Sportsbook app in Michigan and Pennsylvania, saying his firm was eager to leverage this impact in Illinois and beyond.

In 2020, Penn National purchased a 36% stake in Barstool Sports for $163m. The terms of the partnership meant the New York-based digital media giant would be the exclusive gaming partner of Penn National for the next 40 years, while allowing Penn National the rights to use the Barstool Sports brand across its retail and online casinos and sports betting products.

Penn National has also positioned itself for potential New York mobile sports betting, after inking a long-term sports wagering and iGaming deal with Rivers Casino in Schenectady, New York.