Penn National Gaming has entered a multi-year deal with NASCAR, its first partnership with a professional sports league.
The agreement makes Penn National the first authorized gaming operator for NASCAR in the U.S., and centers around a new free-to-play mobile game, “NASCAR Finish Line.” The app offers players the chance to win a $50,000 jackpot every race if they predict the race winner and the highest finishers across six groupings, each of which has six drivers.
The mobile game will be available to download ahead of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 16 on the App Store and Google Play store, according to a Friday press release from Penn National.
Craig Neeb, NASCAR’s executive vice president of innovation, said the in-play experience is meant to increase fan engagement.
The league has been looking to take advantage of legalized sports betting’s rapid expansion in the U.S. for a number of months. In May, NASCAR announced an exclusive multi-year partnership with Genius Sports, in which the sports data and technology company would develop official NASCAR gaming offerings for sportsbooks.
Additionally, NASCAR and Penn National have extended their race title sponsorship for Kansas Speedway’s “Hollywood Casino 400” through 2026. The deal, named after Penn National’s Kansas City property, furthers the property’s standing as the official casino partner of the Kansas Speedway and the race title sponsor for the NASCAR Cup Series race, scheduled for Oct. 18.
“I look forward to continuing to help them entertain and reward their patrons for the next few years,” said Kansas Speedway President Patrick Warren.
Penn National has been making moves in the sports world in recent weeks. On Jan. 29, the casino operator announced that it had agreed to acquire a 36 percent interest in Barstool Sports Inc., a digital sports media company, for $163 million in cash and convertible preferred stock.
“(Penn National) had outlined a strategy to get a leading position in sports betting, and they continue to execute,” said Union Gaming analyst John Decree in a Jan. 30 note to investors.
“We tend to believe as sports betting gains momentum in the U.S., so too will (Penn National). … (It’s had a) recent emergence as a top sports betting contender with its acquisition of and partnership with Barstool Sports,” DeCree added in a Thursday note.
Penn National shares were down 2.3 percent early Friday afternoon, down $0.82 to $34.08.