E*TRADE to Portnoy: ‘Hit the Road, Davey,’ Broker Boots Barstool Boss

Posted on: June 25, 2020, 04:08h. 

Last updated on: June 26, 2020, 08:57h.

Barstool Sports founder David Portnoy is day trading his way into being a cult leader of a youthful rebellion against financial market norms. But his business will no longer be welcome at brokerage firm E*TRADE.

Barstool's Portnoy Booted From E*TRADE
Barstool Sports founder David Portnoy is in a flap with E*TRADE, claiming he’s been kicked off the trading platform. (Image: MarketWatch)

With offerings for sports bettors still slim, Portnoy, whose company is 36 percent owned by Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN), is keeping eyeballs on his media property by day trading, forming Davey Day Trader Global (DDTG).

Along the way, Portnoy is ruffling the Wall Street establishment’s feathers while supposedly inspiring a young generation of bettors and sports fans — Barstool’s core demographic — to treat the stock market like a casino.

E*TRADE, which is being acquired by Morgan Stanley for $13 billion in equity, apparently decided it’s had enough of Portnoy’s brash attitude. The brokerage platform experienced an outage in June, drawing Portnoy’s ire.

ETRADE decided not to work this morning. My rep is on (expletive) vacation. THIS WILL NOT END WELL FOR YOU ETRADE,” said the Barstool boss on Twitter.

Portnoy is drawing legions of followers and plenty of criticism for his irreverent approach to stocks. That includes gloating over winning positions in previously downtrodden airlines, cruise operators, and gaming companies — trades that many on Wall Street believe are being inflated by retail investors. Some critics claim the cavalier approach embodied by Portnoy will end painfully for those following along.

‘Not Built for Guys Like Me’

In a video posted on Twitter today after the close of the US market, Portnoy said E*TRADE kicked him off and that he got a two-week notice. He claims his rant from earlier this week was the impetus for the brokerage firm booting him.

“I gotta be honest. I don’t think E*TRADE is built for guys like me or day traders or people who are, like, putting in a lot of money and need access,” said Portnoy.

Portnoy’s devil-may-care attitude is well-known, as he’s clashed with members of Congress and ESPN, among other high-profile personalities and entities. That didn’t stop Penn from plunking down $163 million to acquire 36 percent of Barstool in January, a deal that pushed Portnoy’s net worth to around $100 million. The gaming company has rights to eventually acquire Barstool outright for $450 million.

Portnoy claims E*TRADE decided “We don’t want people with large accounts that trade lots of money.” The average account size of the broker’s clients is $69,000 or less than half the average of $175,000 of acquirer Morgan Stanley’s clientele, according to CNBC.

A request for comment on the matter by Casino.org to E*TRADE wasn’t returned prior to publication of this article.

For Penn, Portnoy Potency

Penn National hasn’t made public comments about Portnoy’s trading antics. But analysts see plenty of value in the marriage between a traditional gaming company and a hip, young sports site.

Off the March lows, shares of Penn National are up 745.33 percent, and the stock is garnering a flurry of bullish commentary from the sell-side community due in large part to opportunities in the iGaming and sports wagering segments.

Penn sportsbooks — both mobile and brick-and-mortar — will feature Barstool branding in a bid to appeal to a younger set of gamblers.