Barstool Sports Founder Bought It Back for $1—Here’s Dave Portnoy’s Net Worth Now


Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy recently bought his company back—for exactly $1. On Tuesday, Penn Entertainment (PENN), Barstool’s previous parent company, sold 100% of outstanding Barstool shares back to Portnoy “for a nominal cash consideration ($1.00) and certain non-compete and other restrictive covenants,” according to a filing by the company. 

Penn Entertainment expects to lose $800 million to $850 million in the sale. If Portnoy ever sells Barstool again, Penn now has the right to receive 50% of the gross proceeds. However, in a video he posted to X announcing the deal, Portnoy said he is “never going to sell Barstool Sports.” 

Key Takeaways

  • Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy bought the company back for $1. 
  • On Tuesday, Penn Entertainment sold 100% of outstanding Barstool shares to Portnoy after signing a deal with ESPN to rebrand their existing sportsbook, without Barstool.
  • Penn initially acquired a stake in Barstool in 2020, and gained full control in February 2023, in a deal worth a total of $551 million.

Why would Penn sell Barstool back to Portnoy for next to nothing in the first place? According to Portnoy himself, his own reputation, along with Barstool’s, made operating in the highly-regulated gambling space next to impossible.

“Every time we did something, it was one step forward, two steps back. We got denied licenses because of me. You name it. So the regulated industry is probably not the best place for Barstool Sports and the type of content we make,” Portnoy said in his video statement. “For the first time in forever we don’t have to watch what we say, how we talk, what we do, it’s back to the pirate ship.” 

Penn inked a $2 billion deal with ESPN to have Barstool Sportsbook rebranded as ESPN Bet, based on PENN’s existing sportsbook. Penn had just gotten full control of Barstool earlier this year, which it initially acquired from Portnoy in 2020 for $551 million. 

Portnoy has a net worth of $100 million as of August 2023, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Barstool Sports

Portnoy founded Barstool Sports as a print sports publication in Boston in 2003. The brand eventually turned into a digital sports media company known for brash takes on sports and pop culture geared toward young men and traditional views of masculinity. Barstool’s portfolio includes radio shows and podcasts such as Pardon my Take and BFFs, hosted by Portnoy and Josh Richards, and until 2021, Call Her Daddy, which was eventually moved to Spotify in a three-year, $60 million deal. 

Penn Entertainment, a Pennsylvania-based sports content platform and casino operator, initially bought a 36% stake in Barstool Sports in 2020 for $163 million, and acquired the rest in February 2023 for $388 million—a total of $551 million. Portnoy likely made hundreds of millions from the original deal with Penn, and now owns 100% of Barstool again.

Portnoy has received criticism for comments he has made about rape. Portnoy has also been accused of alleged violent sexual encounters by three women who anonymously reported to Insider in 2022.

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