After splitting with Barstool Sports in favor of new partner ESPN, Penn Entertainment has a lot of changes to make. Not only will players see various adjustments online, a West Virginia casino is undergoing an overhaul, too.
Penn Entertainment’s only retail property in the Mountain State, Hollywood Casino Charles Town, is Barstool branded. We know that the brand is being replaced, but we don’t know with exactly what just yet.
Barstool signage coming down at Hollywood Charles Town
Penn Entertainment shocked the gaming industry when it announced a new deal with ESPN, effectively ending its relationship with Barstool.
The West Virginia Lottery does not break down revenue by operator. However, Barstool had been losing online market share over the past two years.
Though Barstool was failing to hold onto online shares, its retail sportsbook at Hollywood Charles Town had been thriving in handle and revenue during the FY 2022/2023:
- Hollywood Charles Town: $37 million / $3.4 million
- Mountaineer Casino: $17.5 million / $1.2 million
- Wheeling Casino: $7.6 million / $887,567
- Mardi Gras Casino: $6.2 million / $782,832
- The Greenbrier: $3.3 million / $488,298
Hollywood Charles Town is easily the best retail sportsbook, in terms of handle and revenue, in the Mountain State.
One thing we know for sure is that all Barstool branding is coming down at the successful location. Penn Entertainment CEO, Jay Snowden, said last month:
“[Barstool] need[s] some support from us as we transition, and we’re going to need to have some time to obviously get the ESPN Bet app launched as well as take down some of the Barstool-specific branding inside of our retail sportsbooks.”
Hollywood Casino WV retail sportsbook brand still ‘TBD’
Since Hollywood Charles Town is the most popular sportsbook in the state, what Penn Entertainment replaces Barstool with is a big decision. It has two options. Penn Entertainment can decide to brand the sportsbook as ESPN Bet, or leave the Hollywood branding.
It came as a surprise to many when Snowden announced that Penn Entertainment would integrate the Hollywood online casino with ESPN Bet. Since Penn Entertainment is using the Hollywood brand for its online casino, it’s possible that it keeps the brand consistent inside the land-based casino, too. Either way, Snowden is still undecided:
“With regard to what that does end up being or looking like, that’s a TBD,” Snowden said. “We’re still working through ESPN. Folks have not had a chance to visit our properties yet. So we’re going to go through a process.”
Snowden is not concerned with the direction Penn Entertainment decides to go in. He added:
“There can potentially be some ESPN-branded retail sportsbooks. And if not, we still have what we believe to be best-in-class destinations on the retail sports betting side, and sports bars connected to almost all of them.”
The Barstool brand proved to be a hit at the retail level. We’ll see what decision Penn Entertainment makes and the impact it has moving forward.