Penn National Gaming and Caesars Entertainment Join S&P 500

    • Penn National Gaming will join the S&P 500 on March 22.
    • The move comes just over a year after the gambling company bought a 36% stake in Barstool Sports.

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A year after buying 36% of Barstool Sports for $163 million, Penn National Gaming is joining the S&P 500. The index of 500 large companies also welcomed Caesars in a reshuffle that signals a belief in the growing prominence of gambling.

Penn and Caesars join Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts International, and Wynn Resorts on the oft-cited stock index.

Barstool launched its sportsbook in Illinois earlier this month ahead of March Madness and is also live in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Penn CEO Jay Snowden said he hopes to be in every legally viable state by the end of 2021.

Penn’s stock has risen astronomically in the last year, growing 17-fold from where it was last March, lifted by the steady string of states that have legalized sports betting.

Caesars stock is similarly bullish, up 1,300% from where it was a year ago. The company recorded $1.5 billion in revenue during Q4 2020, compared to $592.12 million in Q4 revenue the year prior.

Both Penn, which also owns race tracks and casinos, and Caesars got a stock boost on Friday after the S&P’s announcement, which will take effect on March 22.

For each company, the listing represents a tremendous comeback after taking a major revenue hit a year ago when casinos, restaurants, and other core businesses shut down amid the pandemic.