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Online sports betting has exploded in popularity over the last 2 years. Though COVID-19 presented a temporary hurdle, shutting down virtually all major sporting events for several months, gambling revenues are roaring back – setting the stage for a record launch by Barstool Sports’ new sportbook app. The popularity of Barstool, DraftKings, and other up and coming gambling firms that are integrating digital marketing strategies with their bookie servcies bodes well for the future of this rapidly-developing industry.

Related ETF & Stocks: Roundhill Sports Betting & iGaming ETF (BETZ), Penn National Gaming, Inc. (PENN), DraftKings Inc. (DKNG)

Ever since May 2018, following the Supreme Court’s reversal of regulations on sports betting, allowing each state to decide whether to permit sports-related gambling, revenues have exploded. In the two year period after the ruling, more than $20 billion had been bet. Sports betting is now legal in eighteen states (plus DC), representing just over 30% of the US population.

An ongoing digital revolution in sports betting has been the most significant driver of growth in the sector. Twelve states have approved full-scale online sports betting, including in Tennessee and Virginia, which will offer online wagering only.

Though the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily threw a wrench into almost all major sporting leagues seasons, outright cancelling NCAA Basketball’s March Madness and significantly delaying the NBA and NHL playoffs, sportsbooks have finally begun getting back to normal operations with the NFL season starting right on time.

The start of this season coincided with the launch of the long-anticipated sportsbook app from Barstool Sports – completing the firms transformation from social media powerhouse to legit sports bookie. Morgan Stanley said the brand-new betting app achieved a record 21,000 downloads per day in its first weekend of operation (a total of 63,000) in Pennsylvania, smashing DraftKings Inc.’s and Flutter Entertainment Plc’s FanDuel’s best daily download numbers.

Back in June, MRP highlighted one of the most intriguing effects of slower action in sports betting during the lockdown period: the rise of what many are calling the “Day-Trading Revolution” – led by Barstool Sports Founder and self-styled “Presidente” Dave Portnoy. Portnoy, mostly known for going all-in on sports betting, pivoted to livestreaming his highly speculative stock market bets, titling the exceedingly popular daily streams “Davey Day Trader Global”, and leveraging his 1.8 million follower base on Twitter.

Portnoy and the company’s other personalities like Big Cat and PFT Commenter, instrumental in making Barstool a major sports and pop culture media outlet, have completely revamped the digital gambling market…

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