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ESPN Bet now available in 17 US States

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ESPN Bet, a newly-branded online sportsbook run by Penn Entertainment has officially launched in 17 US states.

In Arizona, New Jersey and Massachusetts as well as Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Pennsylvanian, players can place their bets on ESPN Bet’s app or website.

ESPN Bet, owned by Disney and Penn Sports Media (US), is a product of a $1.5bn partnership between the two companies.

According to the agreement, Penn Bet will be operated by ESPN while ESPN promotes it across all of its digital and broadcast platforms.

Launch details

ESPN Bet is the rebranding for Barstool Sportsbook, an existing app that offers sports betting. Penn announced in August that it had sold Barstool Sports to the founder Dave Portnoy, for $1.

Penn CEO Jay Snowden said, “We’re excited to announce we will launch ESPN Bet simultaneously across 17 of the states where we offer online sports betting. This is subject to approvals.” Penn Q3 Results.

This strategic alliance will expand our digital eco-system and encourage re-engagement of the millions customers that are in our retail and digital databases. It is also expected to create compelling cross-sell possibilities.

Penn’s initial rights to ESPN Bet will last for a period of 10 years. The company will have an option to extend the contract for another decade. Penn also gave ESPN $500 million worth of share purchase rights in addition to the licensing agreement for $1.5 billion.

ESPN Bet’s stake could increase if it meets market share goals for online gambling. If these thresholds are met, ESPN has the option of purchasing up to 6.4 millions additional shares.

ESPN Bet: A deal that has been in the works for five years

Mike Morrison said that the launch of ESPN Bet was a natural progression for ESPN. He spoke to iGB in the beginning of this year.


He explains, “We started looking at sports betting in 2018 before the repeal of PASPA.” We had a sense of things changing and began to develop a process and strategy for how ESPN could get into sports betting.

This is just the next stage in our process. At this stage, we feel there is enough interest and national attention.

It is important to be able to refer to betting odds when telling the story about the game. What are the expectations, the odds, and the favorite?

Penn hopes that the launch of ESPN Bet will increase its adjusted EBITDA by up to $1bn over time, according to their Q3 report.

A media mega-deal

ESPN is implementing a first wave of integrations that will target an audience estimated at 200 million. A campaign featuring SportsCenter’s Scott van Pelt, Elle Duncan and other anchors will be launched to promote the ESPN Bet.

ESPN has over 105,000,000 unique visitors per month on its digital platform, making it the biggest sports brand in America.

ESPN+ is available to 25 million subscribers. ESPN has 41 million worldwide followers on TikTok, making it the largest brand in TikTok.

ESPN is now the exclusive provider of sports betting, effectively ending its partnerships with DraftKings or Caesars. The broadcaster had previously considered both brands as possible sportsbook partners.

ESPN & Penn Employee Impartiality

Chris Rogers of Penn Entertainment’s chief strategy officer said ESPN had also implemented additional guidelines to ensure impartiality.

Penn’s employees are prohibited from betting “in any location, mobile app or digital platform operated by the employer”.

Because ESPN isn’t an operator “ESPN employees are not forbidden from betting”. ESPN has developed employee guidelines to address this issue. They will also include on-air talent “to ensure ESPN’s high standards of journalism integrity and insiders stay independent.”

MarketingESPN Bet with Responsibility

Penn and ESPN also created a series of guidelines on content for ESPN Bet. They will be used for marketing on social media.

Marketing services include “attribution of odds to ESPN Bet on ESPN programs, where appropriate”. The marketing services will include: “editorial collaborations, mutually-agreed ESPN talent and television commercials as well as social media”.

Rogers said that the marketing efforts would be “suppressed” for those individuals who had self-excluded themselves or were excluded due to other reasons.

He explained that “these integrations are subject to comprehensive safeguards, and also will include the appropriate procedures for suppressing marketing to customers who have been excluded from any or all reasons including self-exclusion.”

Advertisements will not include or target anyone younger than 21 years old. The advertising will not be allowed “on any medium” unless at least 73.6% are expected to over 21.

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