Penn National Planned For Pete Rose to Help Open New Barstool Sportsbook; Event Canceled A Day Later

Written By Katie Kohler on March 2, 2022 - Last Updated on April 26, 2022
Hollywood Casino Morgantown

Pete Rose, banned from Major League Baseball for life for betting, was going to be at the grand opening celebration of the Barstool Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. Penn Live reported on March 1 that Rose would host a meet at greet from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. But on March 2, the story was updated with “the event with Pete Rose on March 12 has been canceled.”

A representative from Penn National Gaming told PlayPennsylvania:

“We decided to focus on March madness instead and have some great tickets to the big dance for some lucky customers.”

The new Barstool Sportbook at Hollywood Casino will be in the spot of the now-closed Epic Buffet on the main level of the casino.

Barstool Sportsbook Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course

At the media preview for Hollywood Casino York in August, reps said construction on the Barstool Sportsbook at Hollywood PNRC was scheduled to start by the end of the month and the sportsbook would be about 11,000 sq. ft. 

Penn Live had more details about the sportsbook:

  • 3 blackjack tables
  • 1 craps table
  • 10 sports betting kiosks
  • 300-square-foot Top Golf Swing Suite space
  • 146 non-gaming seats
  • A bar with 34 seats
  • Jumbotron and 30 TVs
  • Merchandise area
  • Tailgate area on turf
  • “Best seat in the house” private areas available with large party food and beverage options.

Barstool Sportsbooks across Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania-based Penn National Gaming bought a 36% stake in Dave Portnoy’s Barstool Sports in January 2020. Pennsylvania was the first state to launch a Barstool online sportsbook in September 2020.  

In 2021, Penn National started firmly (and physically) planting the Barstool flag in Pennsylvania.

Hollywood Casino York opened in August 2021 with the first Barstool Sportsbook on the East Coast. It’s full of Barstool-branded touches like “life’s too short to bet the under”  under the 9-foot tall and 32-foot wide video wall.

Erin Chamberlin, senior vice president of regional operations at Penn National Gaming said:

“This is a very different sportsbook from anything in the Commonwealth that I’ve seen. The feeling is very approachable and fun. If you are a sports bettor, you are going to love it. It’s also going to be a great place for people to enjoy the game and the camaraderie that goes with watching the game.”

Penn National opened another mini-casino a few months later. Hollywood Casino Morgantown started welcoming guests in late December 2021. It also has a Barstool Sportsbook with some of the same touches but it is definitely different. More of a sports bar feel than a sportsbook.

Some unique features of the Barstool Sportsbook at Morgantown include:

  • Outdoor seasonal terrace and a fully enclosed outdoor terrace
  • Retractable bleachers
  • Area to purchase Barstool merchandise

Marc Guastella, vice president and general manager for Hollywood Casino Morgantown, said of Barstool Sportsbook:

“It’s our flagship food and beverage and entertainment outlet here. We are anticipating this to be an incredible hit in the market. What does the casino of the future look like? It gives us the chance to reimagine all of our offerings. We wanted to make an experience that was immersive for our guests. Every facet has been examined to make an experience that is different. We want people to keep coming back and experience something new.”

The Barstool Sportsbook has teller windows, sports betting kiosks powered by Kambi, kiosks for betting on horse racing, and lots of TVs.

Pete Rose betting scandal

Pete Rose has a Hall of Fame resume but you won’t find him in Cooperstown.

In his last year managing the Reds in 1989, he was banned from MLB due to allegations that he bet on games while he played for and managed the Reds. The most startling claim was that he wagered on his own team. After an investigation by then-MLB commissioner Bartlett Giamatti and a Washington lawyer John Dowd, Rose agreed to a ban as part of a settlement.

Two years later, The Baseball Hall of Fame voted to bar entry for those on the “permanently ineligible” list which included Rose. Currently, Rose and Roberto Alomar are the only two former living players on that list.

After being banned from baseball, Rose fiercely defended his innocence and went on to appeal the Hall of Fame and MLB’s decision. However, in 2004, he admitted to betting on baseball and other sports while managing the Reds.

In a 2007 interview on The Dan Patrick Show, Rose said:

“I bet on my team every night. I bet on my team to win every night because I loved my team, I believed in my team and I did everything in my power every night to win that game.”

Lead image of Barstool Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino Morgantown by Katie Kohler
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Katie Kohler

Katie Kohler is a Philadelphia-area based award-winning journalist and Managing Editor at PlayPennsylvania. Katie especially enjoys creating unique content and on-the-ground reporting in PA. She is focused on creating valuable, timely content about casinos and sports betting for readers. Katie has covered the legal Pennsylvania gambling industry for Catena Media since 2019.

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