Barstool Sportsbook‘s promise of quickly rising to become the No. 1 sportsbook operator is developing slowly. And it’s in danger of not happening at all.
Here is what you need to know about Barstool after Pennsylvania sports betting handle and revenue numbers for March 2021 came out.
1. Barstool is No. 3, and going nowhere
Barstool is still a distant third among PA operators behind FanDuel and DraftKings.
While it’s a clear No. 3 ahead of BetMGM, Barstool has shown little ability to cut meaningfully into the lead that the Big Two enjoy. Here are the numbers for the top three sportsbook operators in March:
- FanDuel: $203 million handle; $13.8 million revenue
- DraftKings: $117 million handle; $7.6 million revenue
- Barstool: $64 million handle; $6.2 million revenue
Yes, things are quite a bit closer if you look at revenue instead of wagers handled. But Barstool has been highly variable for revenue, and share of handle in the still developing PA market is a better indicator of where operators stand relative to one another.
Either way you slice it, Barstool trails FanDuel by a wide or a very wide margin.
And here is Barstool over time in terms of handle in PA. While it’s consistently been No. 3, you can see that little has changed since its second month of operation:
2. Barstool is also bonusing a lot
Barstool has also told us that it would be taking over the No. 1 position by doing very little other than activating their fans. So far, reality has been a bit different.
Barstool needed to offer almost as much in promo credit as FanDuel to generate less than a third of the amount wagered. Barstool bonused $2.9 million to FanDuel’s $3.3 million. DraftKings spent fewer promo dollars than Barstool: Just $1.6 million.
After being relatively stingy with bonuses after launch, Barstool started spending a lot more on this front.
PA sports betting was up in March, but Barstool handle was down.
3. Barstool didn’t grow relative to the market
Here is perhaps the most worrisome trend for Barstool month over month.
While handle was up for the market in February as a whole, and for DraftKings and FanDuel, it was actually down slightly month over month for Barstool ($2 million from February to March). March Madness was a big reason for the increase in the state generally, and Barstool content producers made a huge push around the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. So a pullback should be surprising.
Barstool’s plan was to convert all of its fans and have little need for external marketing. The much touted “66 million fans” that engage with Barstool Sports content is a number we’ve seen referenced over and over as to why Barstool will be a market leader.
But in Pennsylvania, we’re already seeing what might be the high-water mark for Barstool, unless something changes.
Of course, Barstool can change, but will it?