Penn Entertainment agreed to purchase Wynn Interactive Holdings’ New York sports betting licenses. This will allow Penn to launch ESPN Bet within the state by 2024.
This acquisition allows Penn to access the New York market. Penn’s acquisition of Wynn Interactive subsidiary Wynn Interactive’s mobile sports betting licences entity, WSI US, LLC, will cost $25m.
The New York State Gaming Commission issued Wynn the licenses for sports betting in 2021.
Penn is planning to launch ESPN Bet later in this year, pending the necessary approvals. Penn and ESPN partnered in August of last year in an agreement that saw Penn’s Barstool Sportsbook become ESPN Bet. In November, it was launched in 17 US States.
Jay Snowden CEO and President of Penn Entertainment said that this acquisition exposes ESPN Bet to one of the largest sports betting markets in the US.
Snowden said that this is a significant development, as it will allow ESPN Bet to enter the most regulated market for online sports betting in North America. Snowden said, “We’re working with ESPN to build a sports betting brand. Operating in New York is crucial as we expand ESPN Bet throughout the US.”
Wynn Interactive is dead.
This acquisition may be another sign of Wynn Interactive’s declining presence in the US.
Wynn Resorts stated in August of last year that their interactive division underperformed in the US. It was forced to withdraw from eight US states: Arizona, Colorado Indiana Louisiana New Jersey Tennessee Virginia West Virginia.
The performance of the company in New York, Michigan and elsewhere was still being reviewed. It has now essentially handed the Empire State over to ESPN Bet, one of the largest competitors in the US Sports Betting market.
Wynn Interactive announced just a few minutes ago that WynnBet, its flagship brand, will no longer be available in Massachusetts. The deadline for players to remove funds from WynnBet is 13 March.
Wynn Resorts announced growth for its Las Vegas, Boston and Boston business in their full-year results 2023 last week.
What is next for ESPN Bet
ESPN Bet is clearly not slowing down. With 17 states under its belt, and New York still pending, things are moving at a rapid pace.
ESPN’s five-year-long foray into the sports betting industry was a hot topic in the industry for quite some years, and speculation focused on the operator that would be able to make it.
Penn was revealed ahead of the rumoured deal with DraftKings. It’s worked out for Penn, even with the net loss of $724.8m it reported in Q3 2020 as a consequence of Barstool.
Penn, as was widely reported, sold Barstool to its founding founder Dave Portnoy for $1. This had a major impact on the balance sheet.
Since then, the future looks brighter than ever. Mike Morrison spoke with iGB before and after ESPN Bet was launched. Morrison said to iGB today that Penn would control all negotiations and market access agreements for ESPN Bet – as evidenced by the acquisition announced.
New York, New York
New York, by far the most profitable state in North America. Operators generated $211.5m of revenue in January 2024. This was a record-breaking month for the third time in a line.
This January’s total is 12.3% higher than the $188.3 million record set in December 2023. The $189.3m in New York reported for January of last year was 41.6% higher than this.
The handle was $1.96bn. It was a 9.5% increase from the $1.79bn reported in January 2023, but 3.9% lower than December’s total of $2.04bn. This was 6.7% less than the $2.10bn record reported in November of last year.
The current brands on the market are FanDuel DraftKings Bally Bet BetMGM Caesars Sportsbook Fanatics Sportsbook Resorts World Bet BetRivers BetRivers.
FanDuel, from Flutter Entertainment, remains in the lead by a considerable margin. FanDuel set a new state record in January with its $109.2 million online gambling revenue. It was the largest figure posted ever by one operator.
This was the first month that a licensee reported a total of more than $100,000,000 in a single month. FanDuel handled $867.1m of wagers in the last month.
Wynn Interactive is ranked last in the ranking, with a revenue of $358,497 from an overall spend of $8,8m.