Phoenix Raceway Puts Barstool Sportsbook In The Fast Lane With Penn National Deal

Posted By Derek Helling on July 21, 2021

Perhaps as soon as this fall, Arizona bettors will be able to start their engines while NASCAR drivers do the same.

The expected Phoenix Raceway sportsbook is now more concrete thanks to a new deal between Penn National Gaming and the pro racing circuit.

The deal means Barstool Sportsbook is coming to the raceway. As a result, AZ bettors should have access to the online sports betting app under the same branding, pending regulatory approval. It also means the checkered flag has waved on another Arizona point of entry for sportsbooks.

What we know about the Phoenix Raceway sportsbook

According to a NASCAR press release, Barstool will become the exclusive sportsbook of Phoenix Raceway. The app will feature unique promotions for NASCAR events. In return, as well as gaining market access, Barstool will get signage at the track and on NASCAR’s social and digital channels.

“Phoenix Raceway is a state-of-the-art entertainment destination that prides itself on delivering a best-in-class fan experience,” said Julie Giese, president of Phoenix Raceway. “Our partnership with Penn National Gaming and Barstool Sportsbook takes this to another level. It will help us continue our mission of redefining the way we engage fans and connect with new audiences.”

The entire deal is contingent upon license approval, of course. State law allocates 10 sports betting licenses to sports properties, such as the raceway, in Arizona. Each of those licensees can contract with a third party like PNG to actually handle the daily operations of their sportsbooks.

When will Barstool Sportsbook open in AZ?

It isn’t clear exactly when the retail book at Phoenix Raceway could open to the public. The Arizona Department of Gaming maintains Sept. 9 as its target date for the launch of sports betting in the state. That isn’t a guarantee that this specific brick-and-mortar site will be ready on that date, though.

The app will likely launch later this year if approved. No details are available yet about where the raceway plans to locate the retail component. Such plans could become public after all necessary regulatory approvals are in hand. If approved, Barstool will add Arizona to its list of jurisdictions in which it offers legal sports betting. So far, those states include Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Some of the major sports betting brands already have market access to Arizona. However, for those gambling companies still on the outside looking in right now, options are starting to grow more limited.

Cardinals, Coyotes, tribal casinos still on the table

Out of the existing prominent sports properties in Arizona, only the Arizona Cardinals and Arizona Coyotes have yet to publicly announce gambling partnerships. The expectation is that they will do so at some point. Currently, the map of alliances looks like this:

  • Arizona Diamondbacks with Caesars
  • Phoenix Mercury with Bally Bet
  • Phoenix Suns with FanDuel Sportsbook
  • TPC Scottsdale with DraftKings Sportsbook

Another 10 licenses are available for tribal casino operators in the state. Two of those groups, the San Carlos Apache Tribe (with WynnBet) and the Yavapai-Apache Nation (with PointsBet) have landed sports betting partners.

It seems like there are doors still open to other operators, such as BetMGM. However, partnering with a tribal casino has a certain element of risk to it. There are only 10 available licenses and 16 tribes that currently hold gaming compacts in the state.

It’s possible that a compact holder, even with a sports betting partner, could miss out on a license. Having a partner should aid in that endeavor according to the latest proposed regulations. It’s simply no guarantee.

Photo by AP / Ralph Freso
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