January 5, 2023 3 min read


Penn’s Barstool Sportsbook Conditionally Approved in Massachusetts

Similar to Plainridge Park Casino, Barstool Sportsbook had to accept certain conditions attached to its license

Barstool Sportsbook became the latest sportsbook to receive approval from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) for mobile sports betting operations for the upcoming mobile market launch in March.

Mobile Sports Betting License Received

Penn Sports Interactive (PSI)’s Barstool Sportsbook received conditional preliminary approval for a temporary sports betting license this week after commissioners carried the vote that was initially delayed from December. Barstool Sportsbook will operate mobile sports betting tethered to the temporary retail sports betting license of Plainridge Park Casino, one of only three land-based casinos approved for in-person sports betting. PlainRidge Park Casino is also operated by Penn.

The other two casinos approved for in-person betting are Encore Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield, and while retail sports betting is expected to launch on January 31, mobile wagering is scheduled to go live in March but is still to receive a launch date.

Joining the likes of WynnBET, BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook, which already obtained a Category 3 mobile sports betting license from the MGC, was not an easy ride for Barstool Sportsbook as it had to undergo extensive scrutiny during the commission’s meeting and subsequent executive session as commissioners questioned its links to Barstool Sports.

According to Commissioner Eileen O’Brien who made the motion, “Penn Sports Interactive [doing business as] Barstool Sportsbook has shown by substantial evidence that they have satisfied the criteria set forth in general,” but several commissioners had expressed concerns related to Barstool Sports branding and founder, Dave Portnoy, during previous meetings.

According to Commissioner Brad Hill, who spoke during the December hearing on Plainrigde Park Casino’s Category 1 license application, Portnoy’s depiction of himself as a “degenerate gambler” and other comments “he has made in the past fly in the face of responsible gaming.”

To alleviate these concerns, Penn Entertainment, which owns part of Barstool Sports, is expected to acquire its full ownership in February, and is applying for a license via PSI, had to agree to fully cooperate with the MGC’s Investigation and Enforcement Bureau (IEB) regarding the investigation into Barstool Sports in connection with branding, as well as several other conditions.

Another condition stipulated efforts to ensure people under the age of 21 do not attend any of the live Barstool College Football Shows, following the $250,000 fine slapped by the Ohio Casino Control Commission for violating the rule not to promote to people in that age category during its live show at the University of Toledo.

Other conditions include the provision of updates to IEB regarding “the Illinois matter that was discussed in the executive session,” the provision of diversity goals on its spending, and the supply of diversity goals for its workforce.

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With 4 years experience as an analyst, Julie—or ‘Jewels’, as we aptly refer to her in the office—is nothing short of a marvel-worthy in her attention to the forex and cryptocurrency space as she quickly became the first pick to co-pilot education to the masses with Mike.

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