It’s time to talk about Barstool, the unstoppable force in popular culture and sports betting. You are no doubt aware of the Barstool brand of bawdy, sometimes inappropriate humor and general shenanigans. Dave Portnoy and his team have done a great job leveraging content creation into a lifestyle brand, complete with a sportsbook that is currently live in Illinois, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
Barstool started as a paper newsletter passed out to Boston subway commuters by founder Dave Portnoy himself. He grew his passion for sports and barroom talk into a major brand, appealing to Millennial men in particular. Of course, men in their twenties make up a large portion of sports fans, debaters, and gamblers, so it was a natural progression for Barstool to partner with Penn National Gaming to bring its popular brand to casino sportsbooks. This partnership includes an online sportsbook powered by Kambi, a leading sports betting technology provider.
Everyone has an opinion of Barstool, but an objective evaluation of the company’s online sportsbook reveals a functional, quality product with creative promotions. Read on for more information on bonus offers, how to sign up for a Barstool sportsbook account, banking options, an unbiased website and app review, and details about the aforementioned creative promotions.
Barstool Sportsbook offers a $1,000 New Player Bonus. This promotion comes in the form of a risk-free bet. Let’s go over what that means.
|Barstool Sportsbook Promo Code||No Code Needed|
|Welcome Bonus||$1,000 Risk-Free Bet|
|Bonus Valid||September 2021|
If you sign up for a new account and make an initial real money deposit, your first bet will be risk-free. So if you bet on the Dodgers to win and they do win/cover, you’ve won your first bet. Nicely done, but you don’t qualify for the promotion. Enjoy your winnings. If you bet on the Dodgers and they lose, you will receive bonus cash deposited to your Barstool Sportsbook bonus wallet that is equal to the amount of the lost wager. If the losing wager was for $100, you’ll receive $100 in bonuses. If you bet $500, you’ll receive $500, and if you wagered $1K or more and came up short, you’ll receive the maximum possible rebate of $1,000 in bonus cash.
You can then use this bonus to make additional wagers, though unfortunately it cannot be withdrawn until the 1x playthrough requirement is completed. You must use the bonus cash one time to convert it into real money. If your bets with the bonus cash end up winning, you will then be able to withdraw the resulting profits.
When betting with the bonus cash, parlays and single-game bets both qualify towards the 1x requirement but the odds on the wager cannot be better than -200 (for example, -300 would not qualify but -110 or +120 would qualify). Additionally, live wagers, odds boost wagers, and prop bets, qualify as an eligible wager, but the cash out option does not.
The bottom line is that, if your first wager loses, you get a second chance, up to $1,000. That second chance, in the form of bonus cash, must be used to place additional bets as it cannot be withdrawn right away.
Barstool Sportsbook is a relatively new presence in the online sports betting scene, but they’re growing quick. The company is now accepting legal wagers in the following states. Expect more to join soon.
|Pennsylvania||Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course||September 2020|
|Michigan||Greektown Casino||February 2021|
|Illinois||Hollywood Casino Aurora||March 2021|
|Indiana||Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg||May 2021|
|Colorado||Ameristar Casino Black Hawk||August 2021|
|New Jersey||Freehold Raceway||August 2021|
|Tennessee||N/A – Online Only||September 2021|
Before signing up, we will once again highlight that you must be located in one of the aforementioned states to legally place a bet. You can sign up, deposit, and withdraw from anywhere, but Barstool can’t take your action unless you are in an approved state.
Like other sportsbooks, Barstool requires you to download geolocation software on your computer to ensure you are where you say you are. You also have to give them permission to use the location feature on your smartphone. There are several steps you have to take before completing the sign-up process.
First you have to enter your email address and choose a username and password. After that, you have to enter some additional information about yourself for security purposes. This information includes your full name, address, and last four digits of your Social Security number.
This information is used to verify your identity, so be sure that the details you provide matches the information on your bank account. Once you complete all the steps, your account will be up and running and you will be able to make your first deposit.
There are several ways to make deposits and withdrawals on the Barstool Sportsbook platform. As a reminder, be sure to check with your financial institution before attempting to make a deposit. It is important to know your bank’s policies before attempting to fund your Barstool Sportsbook account.
Entertaining podcasts and branded swag are great and all, but if Barstool isn’t offering a quality product with competitive lines, discerning sports bettors will quickly move on to a better sportsbook. The verdict is in, and Barstool’s partnership with technology provider Kambi has produced a high-quality, visually appealing website with all the sports and lines laid out in a way that makes sense.
The top sports are featured in a row across the top of the page and as buttons right in the middle. Featured promotions are displayed in a rotating banner on the home page. Upcoming and live events with a multitude of wagering options are easily accessible on the front page. Additional options are available on the left side, including all sports, live events, customer profile, responsible gaming information, and customer support.
One creative offering featured by Barstool is the Quick Pick 6. This feature is unique to Barstool and is an easy way to create your own 6-leg parlay. You pick the timeframe (up to 3 days) and the sports (NHL, NBA, MMA, European soccer, etc.) and a list of wagers appear, all of which have odds of between -120 and +200. If you don’t like the featured games, just press the “shuffle” button and more options will appear. You pick six of the games from the list and the amount you want to bet and voila, you have yourself a 6-leg parlay.
This is a fun option if you are looking to lay a small wager, but, as any experienced bettor knows or could guess, the implied probability of hitting a 6-leg parlay is about 2 percent. Pretty long odds for a prominent feature, but it definitely has appeal for the more casual, low-dollar bettor who is just looking for some action on the evening’s games.
Apps are the present and future for sportsbook operators, so it is important that their product is easy to use and laid out for an effective experience. Barstool’s app is functional and thoughtfully laid out, with some nice touches of additional spacing, and engaging colors and contrasts. Featured promotions are displayed as a rotating banner at the top of the app, and all the sports are right below.
Upcoming games are easy to find, though a lot of scrolling is required to get through all the sports. To Barstool’s credit, the app does include many sports not prominently featured on other apps, including NCAA women’s basketball, women’s tennis, foreign soccer leagues, etc. On Barstool, upcoming really does mean all upcoming sporting events.
All sports, live events, and the betslip are featured on the bottom of the app. One drawback of the app is the betslip does not automatically appear after making a selection like it does on the browser version. Another useful feature is the option on the betslip to combine wagers into a parlay or keep them as straight bets. If you want to bet on the Dodgers and the Under, you can combine the bets or keep them separate (or both, if you’re into that) without having to navigate any further than the betslip page. This is useful but does promote parlays, which are more advantageous to the house.
Teasers are easy to adjust and go way beyond the standard 6-point variety. Like some other sportsbooks, Barstool has the Move The Line feature on its app that automatically adjusts the line up to 8 points in either direction and gives real-time odds for the adjusted line. For example, a game that featured the Portland Trail Blazers favored by 3.5 (-112) over the Brooklyn Nets.
The Move The Line feature gave bettors the option to adjust the spread by half-point increments all the way to Blazers +9.5 (-670). Pick-em was listed as -165, slightly worse odds than the Blazers -162 moneyline option, which is exactly the same bet. This is a great example of a flashy betting product being offered to new bettors as an exciting new option, but with a slight advantage toward the house.
Not surprisingly, Barstool regularly offers interesting and creative promotions to entice new bettors to sign up and bet. We highly recommend clicking on the ‘Promotions’ section on the Barstool Sportsbook website or mobile app regularly to see what’s available.
All sportsbooks offer some sort of marketing promotions, but very few offer clothing or free apparel. Barstool has a recognizable brand and lots of people wear their branded clothes. Offering a sweatshirt as part of a winning $100 bet is a great way to drive up the handle while increasing customer loyalty.
Barstool also regularly offers small bonuses of $5-$10 just for signing up. These one-time payments help users to gain familiarity with the service without having to risk their own cash.
Barstool does well to offer plenty of insurance options. For example, Parlay Insurance is often available where if you miss on a leg or two of a 4-teamer, you’re not out the entire stake.
Much of Barstool Sportsbook’s success can be linked to its brand positioning. People download and use the Barstool app because they want to be part of the excitement. They want to bet how the Barstool people bet. Barstool personalities live-stream their gatherings on the company social media channels during major sporting events like the NCAA basketball tournament or the Super Bowl. Thousands of people tune in online, many of whom like to wager along with the Barstool crew.
Barstool has a major presence on social media: Barstool Sports’ Twitter account has millions of followers; Big Cat, a major Barstool personality, has also hit 7 digits; PFTCommenter, another enigmatic Barstool personality, isn’t far behind; and the fearless leader, “El Presidente” Dave Portnoy, has a robust 2 million+ Twitter followers.
These guys regularly post their wagers online and discuss sports betting on their social media channels, including “Can’t Lose Parlays” that are featured on Twitter and offered on the Barstool Sportsbook app. You can debate whether Barstool employees marketing parlays offered by the company sportsbook is appropriate, but it is effective. Barstool has quickly generated millions in handle in each of the states in which it operates.
Mychoice is the loyalty program used by Penn National Gaming, Inc. Penn National is a large gaming company that owns casino resorts across the country, including Hollywood Casinos, Tropicana, Cactus Pete’s, and the Greektown Casino in downtown Detroit. Penn National also purchased a minority stake in Barstool Sports, which turned out to be a very profitable decision. Penn National’s stock has continued to increase in value and the company is now a part of the S&P 500(!).
Barstool Sportsbook bettors can also earn Mychoice points which can be redeemed for Barstool merchandise, free play, complimentary meals and nights at Penn National casino resorts, and even a trip on Norwegian Cruise Lines. Loyalty programs are offered by most online casinos but are still relatively rare among sportsbook operators. This is a top-of-the-line sports betting loyalty program.
Speaking of bets that slightly favor the house, Barstool often features competitive lines, but the prices can be larger than the standard -110 vig. Notably, their pricing is very similar to that of DraftKings Sportsbook. Both DraftKings and Barstool use Kambi as their technology partner. We always recommend shopping for the best line, but these days, promotions aside, it is getting harder and harder to find any significant variance among the major sportsbooks.
The available markets on Barstool are mostly the standard fare, including spread, moneyline, over/under, futures, props, teasers, and round robin bets. There are dozens of wagers available for each game/event, similar to other sportsbooks. Barstool’s offerings are not much different than other operators. Barstool separates itself from the pack with creative promotions and social media marketing rather than a wider variety of betting markets.
As far as the sports offered, Barstool has the standard range of major worldwide sports available. Here are the sports markets available on the website and app:
These days, a sportsbook’s customer service can arguably be judged on how easy its chat function is to find and use. Without naming names, some sportsbooks do not even offer a chat function and others that do make it hard to find. All sportsbooks have some sort of customer service function, from an FAQ section to a toll-free (remember when that was important?) phone number for customer questions, to a form for submitting inquiries by email.
Barstool offers all three and, in a small victory for online bettors needing customer service everywhere, even has its live chat box automatically pop up when you visit the Technical Support page. This is practically a revelation in effective customer service. Most bettors rarely need to reach out to customer service agents, but it can be very frustrating to not be able to have questions answered quickly when you need them. Barstool deserves high marks for its intuitive customer support functions. =