BOSTON — Gaming regulators on Tuesday decided not to block Plainridge Park Casino from obtaining a direct sports betting license, but to allow Gaming Commission investigators more time. , also chose to put the Plainville Slot Parlor application in a slightly different position than others. Confirm the involvement of Barstool Sports.
The Commission’s 5-0 vote approved Plainridge’s request for a temporary retail sports betting license, allowing the Plainville facility, along with MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor, to offer in-person wagering in “late January.” is going to start, but it creates an extra step. Slot parlors and commissioners only “preliminary” findings of the company’s suitability to offer sports betting here, rather than the “permanent” suitability findings given to the two casinos. Agreed. Plainridge must formally request a temporary license.
Approvals seeking a temporary license and a preliminary fit finding allowed the company’s license to move forward, but regulators told the Commission’s Investigation and Enforcement Office that some commissioners I could have directed them to delve into the concerns they had for the media company, Barstools. It is the leading brand of sports betting operators in Massachusetts. For more than a year, Plainridge’s quarterly reports to the commission included the barstool logo, and the commission expressed concern about it even before sports betting was legalized. .
“My concerns about Barstool’s relationship to PPC, Penn and now are: [Penn Sports Interactive] It’s a lot more about branding than just responsible gaming,” said Commissioner Eileen O’Brien. She added: And I brought up the fact that tying your brand to that brand has brought the good, the bad, and the ugly that comes with that brand. And historically concerned about what that brand is and reaching out to demographics that serve your company. They are also a particularly vulnerable group, despite being mostly over the age of 21. “
The Boston-based bar stool, led by David Portnoy, a self-proclaimed “fallen gambler,” has long been at a “blackout” party that refused to remove naked photos of Tom Brady’s 2-year-old son from the company. It was a controversial brand. website, and a history of crude remarks from Portnoy and other Barstool personalities.
In January 2020, Plainridge’s parent company, Penn Entertainment, will purchase a 36% stake in Barstool, taking over 100% ownership of the Boston-based company next year. Plainridge general manager North Grancel told the commissioner this month that the sportsbook at his Plainville facility will be “a fully integrated his Barstool-branded sportsbook and restaurant centrally located in Massachusetts.”
To defend Barstool’s involvement as the primary marketer of Penn’s sports betting products, and its importance to Penn’s bottom line, Penn president Jay Snowden will join Tuesday’s conference to discuss the media company’s Spoke to the committee for about 25 minutes on the separation of barstool sports and barstools. Sportsbook betting company.
“For clarity, neither David Portnoy nor anyone else at Barstool controls or has decision-making authority over the operations of the Barstool Sportsbook’s retail or online operations. The decision, direction and influence of the Penn team is made entirely by members of the Penn team who are authorized and licensed where appropriate Barstools is Penn’s sole media and marketing partner and It will continue to work that way after we acquire 100% of the bar stools in February 2023,” said Snowden. “Barstool has been a successful partner and a key component of Penn’s unique omnichannel strategy…Our relationship with Barstool is why we have been able to grow our younger segment of 21-45 year-olds significantly. The casino database over the past two years has led to significant revenue growth in our retail casino operations.”
Commissioner Jordan Maynard believes Plainridge meets the “clear and convincing” criteria for a “durable” conformity assessment, and Plainridge has been compared with Encore Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield. said they were uncomfortable being treated differently. He was awarded a betting license. But he also said he could “count to three” and said he would vote to proceed with the PPC application after confirming its “preliminary” suitability to proceed with the process. I was. Commissioner Brad Hill said he agreed with Maynard.
In a hearing Tuesday afternoon and in a letter presented to the committee, Snowden cited the recent decision the committee made to postpone the vote after first addressing the bar stool question earlier this month. An article in the New York Times detailed the problems Penn was having. and presented statistics showing that the majority of Barstool viewers are generally 21 or older of legal gaming age.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our partnership with Barstool. “The first 15 things that come out are going to be the most controversial issues ever to come out about David Portnoy or barstool sports,” Snowden said. It’s not all about Barstool Sports and David Portnoy, so I welcome that conversation. Again, Commissioner, the only thing I ask for is an open mind.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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