Barstool Sportsbook Opens at Austintown Racino

AUSTINTOWN TOWNSHIP, Ohio – The new Barstool Sportsbook at Hollywood Gaming’s racino here opened Friday, just in time for Super Bowl weekend.

The unveiling capped several months of work to transform the upper level of the building into a sports betting parlor.

Wall-size television monitors light up the restaurant-bar area, which now sports a more spacious open design.

A decorative red brick wall, reminiscent of a classic ballpark, greets customers at the top of the escalator. The horse racing grandstand seating is still on the upper level, as is the horse racing simulcast theater.

Sports betting became legal in Ohio on Jan. 1, and Hollywood Gaming is the area’s first sportsbook bar-restaurant.

With the Super Bowl on Sunday, Barstool Sportsbook operators are expecting a crowd.

The line to place wagers started moments after the Barstool Sportsbook opened Friday afternoon.

“It’s a big weekend,” said Kevin Brogan, director of marketing. “There is a UFC fight on Saturday, and the big game on Sunday.”

The racino installed self-serve sports betting kiosks on Jan. 1, and also opened a counter for placing bets in person. It has had the desired effect of better utilizing the upper level, Brogan said.

“We’ve seen a noticeable shift to a younger demographic,” he said. “It’s encouraging. … With dining, betting, drinks and a full crowd, you can see the potential.”

Robert Swedinovich, general manager and vice president, said the Austintown sportsbook is the first of four that will open soon in Ohio. The others will be in Hollywood Gaming properties in Columbus, Toledo and Dayton.

As expected, sports betting in the Mahoning Valley has been a hit, he said.

“It’s been spectacular,” Swedinovich said. “In the past five weeks, we’ve seen a lot of new clientele.”

Giant Jumbotron screens dominate the bar area.

Those who want to make dinner reservations at Barstool Sportsbook for Super Bowl Sunday can do so HERE or in person.

Swedinovich said there has been a lot of wagering already on the Super Bowl through Barstool’s app and in person. As of Friday afternoon, the line was Kansas City-plus 1.5.

Mahoning County Commissioners David Ditzler, Anthony Traficanti and Carol Rimedio-Righetti were on hand for Friday’s ribbon-cutting.

Ditzler was an Austintown trustee when Penn National Gaming, owner of the racino, sent representatives to the Mahoning Valley to check out potential sites a dozen years ago. The $60 million facility will turn 10 next year.

“We worked our butts off trying to sell them that this was the best location,” he said. “It has definitely been a success story.”

The racino was the area’s first project to use taxing increment financing, under which property taxes are used to fund public infrastructure improvements.

“In the 10 years it’s been here, it has generated close to $20 million for roads, sanitary sewers and for some projects that are still on the drawing board,” Ditzler said. “As a public-private partnership, this stands alone.”

After the ribbon-cutting, Rimedio-Righetti got in line to place a wager on the Super Bowl. She went with the Philadelphia Eagles.

“I would have bet on San Francisco if they were in it,” she said.

Pictured at top: The entrance to Barstool Sportsbook at Hollywood Gaming in Austintown.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.