Penn National Primed for New York Mobile Sports Betting Market Via Rivers Casino Deal

‘A major priority’ for the operator

Penn National Gaming Inc. is in pole position for mobile sports wagering access in the Empire State after it inked a strategic, 20-year sports betting and iGaming deal with Rivers Casino in Schenectady, New York.

The partnership struck with Rivers Casino operator Capital Region Gaming LLC – a Rush Street Interactive affiliate – gives Penn National subsidiary Penn Interactive frontrunner status should the New York Assembly approve mobile sports wagering.

Penn Interactive operates retail sports wagering, iCasino, online social casino, and bingo products across its Wyomissing, Pennsylvania-based regional parent company’s portfolio.

Penn National’s senior VP of interactive gaming, Jon Kaplowitz, said getting his company prepped for what could be one of the US’s most profitable sports wagering markets has been “a major priority”.

an idea of New York’s sports betting intentions is forthcoming, “as the budget is due roughly in a month”

The Las Vegas Review-Journal quoted the director of government affairs for Global Market Advisors, Brendan Bussmann, as saying that an idea of New York’s sports betting intentions is forthcoming, “as the budget is due roughly in a month.”

Penn eyes lucrative market

Penn National said it was hopeful that New York lawmakers will follow the playbook of other top revenue-generating states and “allow for multiple skins for mobile sports betting.”

The ante was upped in early January, when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo affirmed his intent to include a mobile sports betting bill in his 2021 policy proposals. This represented an about-face for Cuomo, who had previously stood against such legislation. The COVID-19 fallout and the resulting state budget slump, however, caused the governor to rethink his position.

On January 19, Cuomo confirmed he would still prefer a state-run model for New York’s mobile sports betting market. His decision was despite the efforts of two lawmakers to pass legislation permitting commercial casinos to partner with two mobile operators each.

size of the Empire State “warrants open competition and a free-market approach”

According to Penn National’s Kaplowitz, the size of the Empire State “warrants open competition and a free-market approach.”

Barstool off to a storming start in Michigan

Penn Interactive already has online sport wagering up and running in two states, namely Pennsylvania and Michigan, where it also launched its Barstool-branded iCasino on February 1. According to its official news release, the Philadelphia-headquartered subsidiary expects to operate its Barstool Sports mobile sportsbook app in at least ten states before the year-end.

According to the latest figures from the Michigan Gaming Control Board, Penn Interactive’s Barstool sportsbook kicked off its Wolverine State debut with a resounding bang. In its first ten days of operation at Greektown Casino-Hotel in Detroit, 48,400 people registered with the sportsbook and placed bets that led to total handle of $27.5m.

Kaplowitz said Penn National now hopes to imminently introduce its “unique and exciting brand of sports entertainment and iCasino” to New York.

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