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Gambling Regulators Scrutinizing Penn National, Barstool Amid Portnoy Allegations

Penn National CEO Jay Snowden says the company has addressed inquiries by regulators and intends to keep those boards updated with new information as it becomes available.

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Recent allegations against Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy have prompted gambling regulators in Nevada and Indiana to investigate Penn National’s acquisition of the popular media company, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Portnoy has disputed the accusations of sexual misconduct by five women and filed a defamation lawsuit against Business Insider and author Julia Black.

According to the Nevada Independent, Nevada Gaming Control Board chairman Brin Gibson told the Journal that the organization has an obligation “to protect the reputation of the state and the reputation of the state’s gaming industry,” and has requested information from Penn National in the wake of concerns about Barstool. However, Barstool’s sports betting app doesn’t currently operate in Nevada.

The Journal also reported that the Indiana Gaming Commission is conducting a review of Penn and Barstool in light of the allegations against Portnoy, and says the casino and sportsbook company is aware of concerns regarding the partnership. And Barstool’s app does operate in Indiana.

Penn National CEO Jay Snowden told the Journal that the company has addressed inquiries by those regulators and intends to keep those boards updated with new information as it becomes available. Penn contacted gambling regulators in the states where the company is licensed following Business Insider’s first report on the allegations against Portnoy.

Furthermore, Snowden stated Penn National’s support for Portnoy and believes in the partnership with Barstool as the casino and sportsbook attempts to reach younger bettors as the sports betting landscape expands and becomes more popular. Barstool also allows Penn to have a presence in digital media to compete with other betting companies, which it didn’t have previously.

Two years ago, Penn National acquired a 36 percent stake in Barstool and intends to take over 100 percent of the company by 2023. Snowden said those plans haven’t changed. Partnering with and eventually taking control of the Barstool brand allows Penn to reach potential customers and build a user base without having to spend heavily on advertising. That’s a different strategy than rival sports betting companies have pursued.

Furthermore, Snowden points out, Barstool is one of the few digital media brands that has expanded revenues and social media following since Penn invested in the company two years ago.

However, former Nevada Gaming Control Board chairwoman Becky Harris said concerns over Barstool may prevent the company from getting licensed in more states, as regulators work to address harassment and discrimination among employees and customers, particularly against women.

Earlier this week, Barstool announced the launch of “Barstool Difference,” a philanthropic initiative geared toward helping female-run companies, veterans, youth service, and sobriety.

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Kareem Daniel Leaving Disney After Bob Iger Reassumes Role as Company CEO

“This is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”

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Bob Iger is back as the CEO of Disney, and one of the first moves he made was to announce a company restructure. Part of that restructure includes the departure of Kareem Daniel, the chair of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution (DMED).

DMED was formed under now-previous CEO Bob Chapek. The division manages Disney’s streaming services which includes ESPN+.

Daniel was considered one of those closest to Chapek. Iger announced Daniel’s departure in a memo to employees at DMED.

“It is my intention to restructure things in a way that honors and respects creativity as the heart and soul of who we are,” Iger said in the memo. “As you know, this is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”

ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro will join other company leaders in coming up with a new company structure that Iger hopes “puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs.”

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Pat McAfee Didn’t Know He Was Wrestling a Steer on College GameDay

“Showed up there, no clue, I thought I was watching their team practice, their team wasn’t practicing.”

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College GameDay was in Big Sky Country over the weekend, and co-host Pat McAfee had a pretty memorable trip.

During one of the segments on the show, McAfee ended up wrestling a steer in front of the Montana State rodeo team.

On The Pat McAfee Show on Monday, Pat said he learned what he was going to be doing, including the technique to bring the 500-pound animal to the ground, right when he got there.

“I had no idea I was doing this 45 minutes ago – no clue,” McAfee said. “Showed up there, no clue, I thought I was watching their team practice, their team wasn’t practicing. They just put that together for me.”

Pat, who often says with his rise to fame as a media personality that he has the “Dumbest life,” said right before the steer was released he had a moment.

“At that moment, I’m going eye to eye with this steer – why am I doing this? Actually, why am I doing it?” he said.

McAfee, who does his show from his studio in Indianapolis, added that even when he arrived in Montana for production meetings on Friday that he didn’t know he would be meeting up with the rodeo team for a segment. He said the Montana State rodeo team’s facility was probably a 40-minute drive from the GameDay set.

“I had no idea I was going out there either,” he said. “Drive out there, I’m like ‘Holy f–k what am I doing?'”

Still, Pat expressed his gratitude for the hospitality he was shown and that he got a small taste of the rodeo and ranching life.

“I have the utmost respect for those cowboys out there,” he said. “Legit.”

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Jeff Passan Now Breaking News On Instagram After Noting Twitter Instability

Passan said “I have no idea if Twitter is going to be around today, tomorrow, next week, next year” and said he wanted fans to have a “break-glass-in-case-of-emergency-plan”.

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ESPN MLB reporter Jeff Passan has begun pushing some of his breaking news stories on his Instagram in addition to his Twitter account after noting the social media platform’s instability.

In a tweet on Saturday, November 12th, Passan shared that the Houston Astros and reliever Rafael Montero had agreed to a new contract, with details on his Instagram page. In a follow up message, Passan said “I have no idea if Twitter is going to be around today, tomorrow, next week, next year” and said he wanted fans to have a “break-glass-in-case-of-emergency-plan”, should the worst happen on Twitter.

Many accused Passan of grandstanding, and “virtue signaling” for “boycotting” a platform now owned by Elon Musk. There have been unsubstantiated reports of Twitter’s volatility under Musk’s ownership.

Last week, though, Passan continued posting breaking news to his Instagram account.

Passan appears to be the first ESPN news breaker to make a shift, however slight, to an alternate platform from Twitter.

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