Penn National Gaming, Inc. and Capital Region Gaming, LLC recently announced a 20-year strategic partnership. The partnership will give Penn National “second skin” access to New York mobile sports betting and iCasino market. The deal is certainly promising but relies heavily on the passing of new legislation that would legalize online gambling in the state. Penn National is confident that the deal will pay dividends in the long run, as it gives them early access to a market that has the potential to be one of the most lucrative in the United States.
Gaming Giants Join Forces
Jon Kaplowitz, Penn National’s Sr. Vice President of Interactive Gaming, shared that tapping into the New York market has been a top priority for the company, believing that it is only a matter of time before the New York State Assembly passes legislation that promotes open competition for online and mobile wagering. The partnership with Capital Region Gaming, LLC d/b/a Rivers Casino & Resort means that the two companies could have the upper hand in the market, given their combined experience in the industry.
Penn National already offers online wagering for sports in both Pennsylvania and Michigan under their Penn Interactive brand. By the end of 2021, the company believes that it will be operating its Barstool Sports mobile sportsbook app in as many as 10 states. Penn Interactive has also recently rolled out a new mobile casino in Michigan. The Barstool-branded iCasino launched on February 1, and it is conceivable that that state of New York could see similar options, pending legislation.
Penn National has been able to successfully leverage the power of the Barstool brand to successfully roll out their products, and now hopes to do the same as they partner with a brick-and-mortar casino in New York. In the first 10 days of operating in Michigan, over 48,000 new customers have generated a total handle of $27.5 million. Kapolwitz is confident that this success could be replicated in the Empire state.
Gambling Laws in New York
Gambling laws in New York are relatively strict, especially in terms of online options. Until 2013, gambling in the state was limited to Indian reservations and betting on horse racing. Since then, voters approved an amendment to the New York constitution, which approved Las Vegas-style casinos, like the Rivers Casino & Resort owned by Capital Region Gaming. Since 2013, the Supreme Court has opened the door for many states to legalize sports betting, after lifting the ban in 2018. The decision led to sweeping changes in gaming legislation, including a wave of online gambling options throughout the country. The complications of the COVID-19 pandemic have also pushed many states to examine legislation for online casinos, and New York may be the next to follow suit.
At the start of 2021, Gov. Andrew Cuomo shared his perspective about the legalization of sports betting in the state, stating that it could prove to be a reliable source of tax revenue. Many believe that the state will pass legislations that will give seven to 14 private companies the opportunity to own and operate sportsbooks within the state. Despite the limited gambling options, New York is one of the most profitable gambling industries in the country, with $9 billion in lottery sales each year, and one of the most profitable slots-only casinos in the country.
Adding to an Extensive Resume
Penn National has one of the largest gaming footprints in the country, with 41 properties in 19 states offering both retail and online gaming. Their Penn Interactive division, which is responsible for the company’s online social casino, bingo, and iCasino products appears to be on the rise as well, as casinos throughout the country are adapting to restrictions related to the pandemic. After entering a partnership with Barstool Sports in February 2020, Penn National significantly expanded their reach. The company believes that this new partnership will allow them to do the same, in what could be one of the largest gambling markets in the United States.