In a bid to boost its online gaming platform, Penn National Gaming, Inc. (PENN - Free Report) recently announced that it has received permission for a live real money test of its new Barstool Sportsbook mobile app in Pennsylvania. Following the news, shares of the company increased 2.1% during trading hours on Sep 8.
Notably, the approval by Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board allows the company to soft launch the Barstool Sportsbook app for the period Sep 15 to Sep 17, 2020, subject to final iOS approval. During this period, the application will be available to a limited number of pre-registered participants, allowing real-money wagers and access to all features and functionality of the Barstool Sportsbook. The system will also be tested by regulators and will be open to refinements as well.
Following the testing period, the company anticipates to launch the app in Pennsylvania on Sep 18, 2020. However, it is subject to final regulatory approvals.
To this end, president and CEO of Penn National, Jay Snowden stated, “This is an important milestone in our Company’s continued evolution to be the leading omni-channel provider of retail and online gaming, live racing and sports betting entertainment, and we couldn’t be more excited to get underway.”
So far this year, shares of Penn National have risen 116.4% against the industry’s 18.2% decline.
Increased Focus on Barstool Sports Partnership
In January 2020, Penn National had reached an agreement to acquire a 36% interest in Barstool Sports for nearly $163 million. Per the agreement, Penn National will be Barstool Sports, a leading digital sports media company’s gaming partner.
The company will launch Barstool Sportsbooks across the United Sates in the coming quarters and mobile sports betting app Barstool Sportsbook. Notably, the partnership provides access to a database of 66 million sports enthusiasts (or Barstool loyalist), out of which 60% are into sports betting while the remaining are avid betters.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the company announced that it will continue to invest in projects, which will generate EBITDA in the short term. The company is confident about its long-term growth, which will be supported by differentiated omni-channel approach.
Penn National — which shares space with Caesars Entertainment Corporation (CZR - Free Report) , MGM Resorts International (MGM - Free Report) and Red Rock Resorts, Inc. (RRR - Free Report) in the Zacks Gaming industry — has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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