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Penn National Signs Deal with Rivers Casino for New York Access

Penn National Rivers Casino deal

Penn National has signed a multi-year deal with Rivers Casino for New York market access.

New York lawmakers are currently in the midst of discussing online sports betting proposals. However, one major brand name has decided to move forward and get the ball rolling by joining forces with an upstate casino. To start the week, Penn National Gaming announced a multi-year strategic partnership with Capital Region Gaming and its Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady. The deal will provide Penn Interactive, a subsidiary of Penn National, with what has been termed “second skin” access to the New York iGaming and mobile sports betting market. Rivers casino is owned by Rush Street Gaming.

The deal is waiting to be ratified, pending regulatory approvals and New York legalizing online casino gaming and mobile sports betting. If it gets the go-ahead, Penn National’s Barstool Sports app will gain entry into potentially one of the biggest online iGaming and sports betting markets in the United States.

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Jon Kaplowitz, Penn National senior vice president of interactive gaming, said possibly getting access into potentially “one of the nation’s most lucrative sports betting markets” has been a long-term priority for the company. He added that they remain hopeful the New York State Assembly will take the lead from other states that have legalized online betting and “allow for multiple skins for mobile sports betting.” Kaplowitz feels that due to the Big Apple’s size, it “warrants open competition and a free-market approach.”

One the same day this agreement was announced, Rush Street also revealed it signed a deal with Penn National for market access for its BetRivers online casino and sports betting brand (BetRivers Sportsbook)  in other states. The agreements are all for 20 years in states including Missouri, Maryland, and Ohio and will be implemented through potential second skins in each of those states. That is subject to license availability, regulatory approvals, and state law. Rush Street will reimburse Penn National with industry-standard payments for market access.

In addition to the terms listed above, the deal provides RSI with a right of first offer for a potential skin in Texas through Penn National.

Barstool App Live in Michigan & Pennsylvania

Penn National currently has an online sports wagering platform in Michigan and Pennsylvania. The company has stated it anticipates operating its Barstool Sports mobile sportsbook app in a further ten states by the end of 2021. Additionally, Penn Interactive launched its Barstool-branded online casino at the beginning of February.

Kaplowitz said the company is “very encouraged by the initial results” coming out of Michigan. He said they have registered “over 48,000 new customers and generated a total handle of $27.5 million” during the first ten days of operation. Kaplowitz added that they are confident “in our ability to win a sizable share in new markets based on the power of the Barstool brand” and are excited to bring their brand to the Empire State.

Last year, Penn National bought a stake in Barstool Sports. Consequently, Barstool exclusively promotes the company’s land-based and online casinos, in addition to all sports betting products.

Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady houses over 1,000 slots and over 50 table games, a 16-table poker room, and a live sportsbook lounge. New York currently has legal sports betting at its four commercial casinos. However, with no online market, the state has been left behind neighboring New Jersey regarding betting handle and revenue.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed a very different model to that of lawmakers. Cuomo would prefer a state lottery approach, whereas lawmakers prefer multiple operators and an open market.

Follow us over on Twitter @Gamble_usa for the latest legal casino and sports betting news across the US.

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