Report: MGM, DraftKings Bet Against Teaming With Barstool for NY Sports-Wagering License Over Dave Portnoy

Along with MGM Resorts and DraftKings, FanDuel had concerns about Portnoy’s "past erratic behavior," per a report

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy attends a Buffalo Bills tailgate
Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy attends a Buffalo Bills tailgate.
Brett Carlsen/Getty

According to The New York Post, several big-name gambling operators opted against adding Barstool Sports to their coalition while applying to New York’s Gaming Commission for online sports-betting licenses because of concerns about the “past erratic behavior” of the controversial media outlet’s founder Dave Portnoy.

Before adding Bally’s to meet a state requirement that they have a minimum of four parties in their bid for online sports-betting licenses, MGM Resorts, DraftKings and Fanduel had considered teaming up with Barstool Sports, sources told The Post.

Business Insider published a bombshell story detailing allegations from multiple women who accused Portnoy of overly rough and violent sex, but that report allegedly did not contribute to the decision to go with Bally’s over Barstool as that choice was made over the summer. But Portnoy’s past was the deciding factor. (Portnoy denied the allegations in the BI piece.)

“One of the reasons Bally’s was chosen was they were the least offensive,” a source with direct knowledge of the talks told The Post. “They saw a risk with Portnoy.”

Portnoy’s Barstool Sports did apply for a mobile sports betting license along with a group including Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and Fanatics, but that bid was not approved by the Gaming Commission. A bid by a group made up of Caesars Sportsbook, Wynn Interactive, Resorts World and Rush Street was. The license is good for 10 years.

Following the Gaming Commission’s decision, some lawmakers complained about the lack of diversity among the companies that were selected for licenses.

“I’m truly disappointed that the Gaming Commission is making a serious error in not being inclusive, and just going back to the good old boy systems,” said Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, per The New York Times. “We’re just playing around with the same people.”

New York State, which will be taking 51% of the betting profits from its new licensees, is expected to generate $1.2 billion in gambling revenue within the next few years. Mobile betting within the state is not up and running yet, but many industry observers anticipate it will be ready to go by the Super Bowl on February 13.

Mobile wagering is currently operational in at least 18 states and Washington D.C.

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