Gambling regulators looking into allegations against Barstool Sports founder
Gaming regulators in Indiana and Nevada are looking into gambling operator Penn National’s bid to acquire Barstool Sports amid sexual misconduct allegations against Barstool founder Dave Portnoy, The Wall Street Journal reported.
In a statement on Thursday, Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman J. Brin Gibson said 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.”
Gibson added that he had requested information from Penn National due to his rising concerns about Barstool Sports, according to the Journal.
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 commission said in a statement.
Portnoy filed a defamation lawsuit in response to an Insider investigation in which multiple women accused the sports media giant of sexual misconduct, the Journal noted.
This comes as Penn National moves to acquire Barstool Sports, founded in 2003 as a sports gambling-based news outlet, in an effort to compete in the growing sports-betting industry.
In a recent interview, Penn National chief executive Jay Snowden said the company stands by Portnoy, citing Barstool Sports’ media appeal as a key to the company’s future success in sports betting and digital media.
Snowden also noted that Barstool has grown its revenue by 150 percent since Penn National invested in the company two years ago, also increasing its social media presence to 100 million followers.
“They’re profitable, which is rare for a lot of digital media businesses,” Mr. Snowden said. “They’ve delivered on what they said they would do.”