Barstool’s Dave Portnoy Happy To Be Left Out of New York … But Not Really

Written By Mike Mazzeo on November 17, 2021

Barstool founder Dave Portnoy still seems bitter about losing out on New York.

In what amounted to more sour grapes, Portnoy sounded a lot like Penn National CEO Jay Snowden when asked about the company’s disappointment over not getting an online sports betting license in the Empire State.

“(It’s) mixed,” Portnoy said during Barstool’s The Dave Portnoy Show With Eddie & Co. “I’ve talked about it. The tax rate in New York is ridiculous, it’s 51%. I think it’s like (13%) in New Jersey, to give you an idea. So nobody is going to make money,” Portnoy said in a video posted on Barstool.

“These companies that are already getting smashed and bleeding money are going to get killed in New York City. They’re going to have to spend millions, billions to compete, and they’re going to have to give all their profits away.”

Portnoy concedes he wishes NY online betting included Barstool

Similar sentiments have been shared by many in the industry. And it could turn out to be correct, as there has been concern about lesser promos and worse lines for in-state bettors.

Yet the titans in the industry — like FanDuel and DraftKings — were willing to take the risk given New York’s booming population (more than 20 million) and massive appetite for sports betting.

Barstool was too, of course.

“Don’t get me wrong,” Portnoy continued. “Would I rather be in New York than not? Yes. (But) If you’re going to pick a state not to get into because of the tax, like, ‘OK, this is (fine). No one’s making money.’”

Barstool would’ve left itself out of Super Bid

A New York Post report stated the trio of FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM considered Barstool for its final Super Bid spot before electing to go with Bally’s because of Portnoy’s “past erratic behavior.” That includes allegations detailed by Business Insider.

Portnoy called the report “(expletive) BS.”

“Who in their right mind would take us over Bally’s? It’s not like once you get accepted, you’re teammates in the state. You become competitors, and Bally’s has no footprint,” Portnoy said. “This is arguably one of our bigger, more popular states. If we get in here, we’re gonna be able to get people to play with us without spending money on advertising. Who the (expletive) is gonna wanna compete with us?

“I don’t even know what the point of the article was. It makes perfect sense why we weren’t included in that group. I wouldn’t include us in that group either. All these decisions were made a long time ago. It had nothing to do with the recent stuff (Business Insider story). This just felt like, ‘Let’s take another shot at Dave for some reason.’”

Portnoy’s logic here seems flawed. The point of the Super Bids was to bring together large operators so they would be picked. In fact, the only two bids selected by the New York State Gaming Commission were the two Super Bids.

Portnoy said he had not spoken to Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin since their bid was denied.

Portnoy returns fire at BetMGM

In the New York Post report, a source close to BetMGM said: “We always considered ourselves a class above Barstool.”

Portnoy responded to the jab.

“I’m sure if you do research on MGM, you’re gonna find far more inflammatory stuff than what they got on me.”

Reports of Portnoy’s behavior toward young women — which he has denied — have caused Penn National stock to decline on multiple occasions.

Now, the Barstool founder is left on the outside of New York online sports betting. Fortunate for him? He says. Time will tell though.

Photo by The Dave Portnoy Show With Eddie & Co
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Mike Mazzeo

Mike Mazzeo has covered New York sports since 2010, previously working as a beat writer and columnist for ESPN (Nets), Yahoo Sports (NBA/MLB) and the New York Daily News (Yankees). His work has also been published in the New York Times, New York Post, Forbes and The Ringer.

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