Nevada and Indiana gaming regulators are looking into Penn National Gaming‘s bid to acquire Barstool Sports amid sexual misconduct allegations against Barstool founder Dave Portnoy, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman J. Brin Gibson stated Thursday that it launched a probe into Barstool Sports and Penn National, citing its obligation “is to protect the reputation of the state and the reputation of the state’s gaming industry.” According to the WSJ, Gibson added that he had requested information from Penn National due to his rising concerns about Barstool Sports. There is no Barstool Sportsbook in Nevada, but Penn National operates two casinos in Las Vegas.
In addition, the Indiana Gaming Commission also announced they are conducting a review of Barstool Sports and Penn National due to the allegations against Portnoy. “Penn is aware of the [Indiana Gaming Commission’s] ongoing concerns and we will continue to evaluate any new information that emerges,” the regulatory body stated.
Barstool founder has filed a defamation lawsuit in response to a Business Insider investigation published November 2021 in which multiple women accused the sports media personality of sexual misconduct, the WSJ reports.
In early 2020, Penn National acquired a 36% stake in Barstool Sports, founded in 2003 as a sports gambling-based news outlet, and the company Later that same year, they partnered to launch Barstool Sportsbook, a mobile sports betting app present in 12 states. Penn National CEO Jay Snowden has publicly stood by Portnoy, urging the public to hear his side of the story. Snowden cited Barstool Sports’ media appeal as a key to the company’s future success in sports betting and digital media, and the company targets full acquisition of Barstool.
The CEO has also noted that Barstool has grown its revenue by 150% since Penn National invested in the company two years ago, also increasing its social media presence to 100 million followers.