Penn National Gaming strikes partnership with NASCAR

Penn National Gaming has struck its first-ever partnership with a professional sports league.

The US casino giant Penn National Gaming (PNG) has inked a multi-year agreement with the stock car racing series, NASCAR.

The partnership between PNG and NASCAR marks the first-ever partnership between Penn and a professional sports league.

What’s covered in the deal?

Under the deal, Penn will become one of NASCAR’s authorized gaming partners and will allow the operator to offer a new free-to-play mobile game with a $50,000 jackpot up for grabs every race.

Penn’s free-to-play game, NASCAR Finish Line, will require users to predict the race winner and the highest finisher across six different groups of six different drivers. The mobile game is set to launch just before the Daytona 500 event on 16 February.

Penn will also promote the NASCAR brand at its properties and on its sports betting app once it launches. NASCAR and Penn have also agreed to extend their sponsorship of the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway up until 2026.

Craig Neeb, Executive Vice President of Innovation at NASCAR said: “We’re thrilled to have Penn National on board as our first authorized gaming operator to strengthen our effort to increase fan engagement with a platform perfect for in-play experience. Coupled with our landmark deal with Genius Sports in 2019, this partnership also positions NASCAR to take advantage of the rapid expansion of legalized sports betting across the country.”

Jennifer Weissman, Chief Marketing Officer for Penn National said: “We are very excited to enter this long-term, strategic partnership with NASCAR. We look forward to the opportunity to provide NASCAR fans multiple outlets for their fandom, including online on a new free-to-play mobile game and at our destination casinos and sportsbooks.”

What has Penn been up to?

This partnership comes after Penn announced that it had entered an agreement to acquire 36% interest in the sports media company, Barstool Sports, for approximately $163m in cash and stock.

Under the deal, PNG will become Barstool Sports’ “exclusive gaming partner” for up to 40 years and have the sole right to use the digital sports media company for all of its online and land-based sports betting and online casino products.

According to the announcement, PNG will fund the purchase with approximately $135m in cash and $28m in shares of non-voting convertible preferred stock. After three years, Penn will increase its ownership to approximately 50% with an incremental investment of about $62m. The transaction has valued Barstool Sports at $450m.

In July 2019, Penn National inked market access deals with DraftKings, PointsBet, The Stars Group and theScore. At the same time, Penn announced that it had selected Kambi as its sportsbook technology partner. The operator has already begun to take over operations at its land-based sportsbooks and is in the process of developing a mobile sports betting platform with Kambi.

In December, Penn also announced a partnership with the Malta-based White Hat Gaming to provide a player account management platform.

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