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Barstool Sportsbook app readies to launch in Illinois



arstool Sportsbook on Monday started promoting the availability for bettors to download its app in Illinois.

Tweets sent out from both Hollywood Casino locations in Joliet and Aurora heralded the announcement as Dave Portnoy, Big Cat, and the well-known group from Barstool Sports will further expand its digital sports wagering presence. If Barstool does not launch anywhere else before accepting online bets in Illinois, it would mark the third state where Barstool can accept online wagers alongside Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Barstool Sportsbook has quickly established itself as a top choice in those two states, ranking a consistent third in handle among 12 mobile options in Pennsylvania and a competitive third in Michigan among 11 operators in the first sample size of online revenue reports reported in January there, Sports Handle reports.

It also has a retail presence in Colorado and Indiana, entering the neighboring Hoosier State just before the start of the new year. The sportsbook’s reach will continue to grow across the country under the auspices of Penn National Gaming, which acquired a 36% stake in Barstool in Jan. 2020. Penn National plans to install brick-and-mortar sportsbooks and launch the brand online in states where it operates casinos, and where regulations permit. The partnerships with the Penn properties Hollywood Casino in Illinois, plus Ameristar Casino in East Chicago in Indiana, give Barstool three retail locations very close to downtown Chicago.

There are currently five mobile operators in Illinois, with DraftKings overcoming a seven-week lag in launch behind BetRivers this summer to become the online sportsbook with the highest handle generated. The Illinois Gaming Board reported a combined sportsbook handle of $491.7 million in December, the fourth highest total of any state with legalized sports betting,  and nearly $194 million was generated by DraftKings.

FanDuel, which was second to market, pipped BetRivers for second in the December report as all three operators topped $100 million in handle. PointsBet and William Hill are the other online operators in Illinois.

While there is no official launch date, a customer service representative during a chat in verifying an account expected Barstool would be able to accept wagers in time for the NCAA tournament in mid-March. Also yet to be determined is which Hollywood Casino will take “ownership” of Barstool Sports as its online skin.

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