WYOMISSING, Pa. (CBS) – Penn National Gaming, the owner of Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, is buying stake in Barstool Sports. The deal aims to position the company as a leader in the sports betting business.

Penn National is paying $163 million to acquire a 36% interest in Barstool, which means the sometimes controversial media outlet that started in Milton in 2003 is valued at more than $450 million. The deal paves the way for Penn National to acquire a 50% stake of the company in three years.

“This exciting new partnership with Barstool Sports reflects our strategy to continue evolving from the nation’s largest regional gaming operator, with 41 properties in 19 states, to a best-in-class omni-channel provider of retail and online gaming and sports betting entertainment,” Penn National CEO Jay Snowden said in a statement.

Barstool will be Penn National’s “exclusive gaming partner” as part of the deal.

A 2018 Supreme Court decision gave states the green light to legalize sports betting, creating a new market for gambling.

“We are going to become the biggest gambling company in the country,” Barstool founder Dave Portnoy said in a Twitter video. He said he envisions “Barstool casinos, bars, pizza places – you name it” as a result of the deal.

The news comes amid falling revenue numbers for the Plainville casino. The slot parlor brought in just over $10.2 million in December – its weakest month since opening in 2015 as it faces competition from Encore Boston Harbor in Everett.

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