Penn National Gaming operates casinos and racetracks in almost every state in the country. Following a series of deals with industry leaders announced last week, however, Penn National Gaming sportsbooks may also now be added to every available market.
In a statement issued on July 31, the Wyomissing, Pennsylvania based Penn National announced partnerships with four sportsbook and online gambling operators – DraftKings, The Stars Group, PointsBet, and theScore Inc.
As part of the individually arranged Penn National Gaming sportsbooks partnerships, these firms will be permitted to use Penn National’s various state gaming licenses to operate iGaming “skins” in jurisdictions where online sports betting, casino games, and/or poker has been legalized.
Jon Kaplowitz, senior vice president of interactive gaming at Penn National, outlined the company’s vision for capitalizing on America’s rapidly expanding regulated sports betting market in a press release:
“We’re pleased to be providing the top names in sports betting, iGaming and poker access to our Company’s non-primary licenses to conduct these operations … sports betting represents an exciting new growth opportunity for Penn National. Our skin agreements announced today will help fund the cost of launching and maintaining our primary sports betting and iGaming operations, both by way of the upfront consideration and the long term revenue sharing arrangements, which are consistent with industry standards and subject to minimum guarantees.”
The multipronged Penn National Gaming sportsbooks skin partnership strategy includes linking up with DraftKings, the daily fantasy sports (DFS) kingpin turned sportsbook operator.
After debuting its first sportsbook with both brick and mortar and online / mobile offerings in New Jersey last year, DraftKings has emerged as the consistent runner-up in terms of monthly revenue behind only fellow DFS titan FanDuel. DraftKings has since initiated a company-wide pivot to pounce on newly regulated statewide sports betting markets, entering Mississippi and West Virginia via land-based bet shops, and securing a deal with Del Lago Resort & Casino in New York.
Under the new deal, which spans 10 years and involves revenue sharing, DraftKings gains access to the following states (skin launch priority listed in parenthesis):
DraftKings – Florida (1st skin), Indiana (3rd skin), Missouri (1st skin), Ohio (1st skin), Pennsylvania (1st skin), Texas (1st skin) and West Virginia (2nd skin)
Penn National will also join forces with The Stars Group, the U.K. based iGaming conglomerate and parent company of PokerStars. The globally leading online poker platform will obviously be part of the mix, but The Stars Group is likely to bring its BetStars sportsbook to the following states:
The Stars Group – Illinois (1st skin), Indiana (1st skin), Kansas (2nd skin), New Mexico (2nd Skin), Maine (2nd skin), Massachusetts (2nd Skin), Michigan (2nd Skin), Ohio (1st Skin) and Texas (1st Skin)
PointsBet – the fastest growing sportsbook in Australia which made its American debut in January – secured the following state / skin rights:
PointsBet – Indiana (2nd Skin), Louisiana (1st Skin), Missouri (1st Skin), Ohio (1st Skin) and West Virginia (3rd Skin)
theScore, the Canadian online / mobile sportsbook operator will be given state / skin priority in the following states:
theScore – Indiana (2nd skin), Iowa (2nd skin), Kansas (3rd skin), Louisiana (1st skin), Maine (3rd skin), Massachusetts (3rd skin), Michigan (3rd skin), Mississippi (1st skin), Missouri (2nd skin), Ohio (2nd skin) and Texas (2nd skin)
After chief rival FanDuel launched its online / mobile sportsbook product in July, pressure on DraftKings to do the same has mounted.
Through the new partnership, the Pennsylvania problem has been solved on DraftKings’ end, as the company’s sportsbook will align with Penn National’s The Meadows Racetrack and Casino. Due to Pennsylvania’s status as a “single skin” state, Penn National will retain its own branding within its Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, while DraftKings branding will be applied to The Meadows sportsbook.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has meetings scheduled for August 14 and September 4, and the regulator is likely to approve the DraftKings / Meadows licensing alliance at that time. From there, Pennsylvania bettors can expect to see the DraftKings app go live ahead of the NFL regular season which kicks off on September 5.
Ezra Kucharz, who serves as chief business officer for DraftKings, issued a statement regarding the company’s preparations for a Pennsylvania launch:
“With dozens of states having already legalized sports betting or poised to do so in the near future, this expanded partnership ensures DraftKings is positioned to quickly enter new markets. Penn National Gaming brings tremendous resources, people and experience to the partnership and, as we finalized the terms of the deal, it was abundantly clear there is a real synergy between our two companies that bodes very well for the future.”