Barstool Sportsbook is taking its talents to Michigan, partnering with Greektown Casino-Detroit. Last Thursday, the announcement confirmed that Michigan would be the second state that Barstool Sportsbook will operate in. Barstool Sportsbook made its debut last month in Pennsylvania with its mobile betting app and has seen a successful first month.
Now, Michigan will reap the benefits of Barstool Sportsbook as the state will soon be launching mobile sports betting early next year.
“I think it makes our sportsbook really unique and differentiates us from our competition,” said Hugh Flack, Greektown vice president of gaming operations. “The Barstool brand is extremely exciting, and they have a very loyal following that’s growing by the minute. The big thing about their brand is that they want their followers to win and succeed. They’re great advocates for that brand.”
Greektown Casino is operated by Penn National, who acquired a 36% stake in Barstool Sports earlier this year. The transition into Michigan should be much easier thanks to the Greektown partnership.
Barstool Sportsbook Early Success
Barstool Sportsbook made its debut on September 18 in Pennsylvania and hit record numbers the first weekend. The sportsbook was downloaded 63,000 times in the first weekend online and 23,000 the Saturday of their weekend debut.
The popularity of the Barstool Sportsbook mobile app was quickly noticed. DraftKings and FanDuel are arguably the two largest sports betting companies in the U.S. On the first weekend that the two sportsbooks entered Pennsylvania, the apps were downloaded a combined 13,000 times – 50,000 fewer downloads than Barstool.
The timing of launching Barstool Sportsbook was perfect. The sports world had a full month of MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL in September, which helped boost downloads in the first weekend. However, Barstool Sports is also one of the largest media empires hosting some of the most charismatic personalities in sports media and entertainment.
The brand of Barstool alone is going to help its new sportsbook when entering into different states. Regardless, the success of Barstool’s Pennsylvania launch was impressive, to say the least.
Greektown Casino and Michigan Sports Betting
Michigan has not had a great start to sports betting in 2020. They launched shortly before the coronavirus pandemic shutdown casinos and retail sportsbooks, not allowing the Great Lake State to collect revenue on the industry.
When Detroit casinos finally reopened at limited capacity, FanDuel Sportsbook and BetMGM brought in heafty returns in August after being closed for four and a half months. Between the three casinos, Greektown only brought in 18% of the Detroit betting revenue, compared to FanDuel (34%) and BetMGM (48%).
Now, Barstool Sportsbook will be entering the Michigan betting market looking to change the trajectory of Greektown’s sports betting operations. Although the sportsbook will not launch a mobile betting app for a few more months, having a retail sportsbook will help Greektown and Barstool Sportsbook build a customer base around the Detroit area.
The next few state betting reports coming out of Michigan could be a good indication of whether or not Barstool Sportsbook gained market share in the state. Having a mobile betting app creates much more reach and revenue in a state than just a retail location.
Having a spot in Detroit is beneficial, but once mobile betting is available in Michigan, Barstool Sportsbook could explode.