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ESPN BET Reveals Launch Date

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ESPN BET, a newly-branded online sportsbook for fans in the United States, is set to debut with a planned launch on Nov. 14. Subject to final approvals, ESPN BET will go live in 17 states, which include: Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Additionally, ESPN is now using official odds provided by ESPN BET across editorial and other content.

ESPN BET Creative: ESPN BET has released a teaser spot featuring SportsCenter anchor Scott Van Pelt. In the spot, Van Pelt receives notifications from both the ESPN and ESPN BET apps, showcasing the cohesiveness between the two brands. The full creative campaign, which will debut around ESPN BET’s launch, will also include SportsCenter anchor Elle Duncan.

Daily Wager Rebrand: As part of the overall launch of ESPN BET, ESPN’s Daily Wager program will rebrand to ESPN BET Live, beginning Nov. 10. The show’s final episode as Daily Wager will be Nov. 6.

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ESPN Headquarters Sweepstakes: Ahead of the ESPN BET launch, fans can enter into a sweepstakes for the chance to win an exclusive trip to the ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn. More details to follow.

ESPN Bet

ESPN BET Named Official Sports Betting Sponsor of the PGA Championship Through 2026

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The PGA of America and PENN Entertainment announced a multiyear sports betting partnership. Under the agreement, ESPN BET becomes the “Official Sports Betting Sponsor” of the PGA Championship through 2026. The 2024 PGA Championship will take place at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky from May 16-19.

This agreement marks a milestone for the PGA Championship as it becomes the first men’s golf major to establish an official sports betting sponsor. ESPN BET is a best-in-class online sportsbook that combines PENN’s proprietary in-house technology and deep sportsbook operational expertise with ESPN’s industry-leading brand and multiplatform reach.

“We are incredibly proud to partner with PENN Entertainment and immerse ESPN BET into the spectator experience throughout the PGA Championship. The added onsite presence of ESPN BET as well as broadcast and content offerings will provide spectators with exciting new ways to enjoy and engage with all of the action during the PGA Championship,” said Jeff Price, PGA of America Chief Commercial Officer.

“We’re pleased to be the PGA of America’s first ever gaming partner and align ESPN BET with this prestigious men’s golf major. We look forward to accessing highly engaging touchpoints to bring ESPN BET onto the course and into the PGA Championship broadcast on ESPN. With the PGA Championship set to take place in states where ESPN BET operates through 2026, this partnership provides us with a great opportunity to interact with and engage golf fans,” said Jason Birney, Vice President of Operations at PENN Interactive.

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The 2024 PGA Championship will feature the ESPN BET Members Lounge located adjacent to the green on the par-4 13th hole. The ESPN BET Members Lounge is a premium hospitality space available only to ESPN BET account holders. The lounge offers views of Valhalla’s newly renovated signature 13th green and includes a variety of amenities including beverages, covered seating, a VR simulator of the 13th hole, special ESPN BET offers for patrons on site, and more. Additional consumer-facing activities will also take place in the lounge throughout the week.

In addition to activating onsite at the Championship, ESPN BET will be integrated into broadcasts on ESPN networks, with betting odds and insights provided to enhance storytelling within the Championship. The sponsorship also includes opportunities for collaborative content across PGA of America digital media platforms. In the leadup to the Championship, ESPN BET will offer specially curated PGA Championship betting offers prior to and during all four rounds of competition.

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ESPN BET’s First Retail Sportsbook Opens at Hollywood Casino at Greektown

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Hollywood Casino at Greektown unveiled its new ESPN BET branded sportsbook and restaurant on the upper floor of the 100,000-square-foot Downtown Detroit casino. This sportsbook is the first ESPN BET branded retail location to open across PENN Entertainment’s (PENN) portfolio of properties.

The ESPN BET sportsbook and restaurant offers guests approximately 4500 square-feet of betting and dining space, with high-tech wagering kiosks, big-screen TVs, a 30’ video wall for the ultimate sports viewing experience and elevated bar food and drink. The restaurant is one of the many premium dining options available throughout Hollywood Casino at Greektown.

“This is an exciting week to debut PENN’s first physical ESPN BET sportsbook as the city of Detroit hosts the NFL Draft and its festivities. Bringing ESPN BET to Hollywood Greektown combines PENN’s premier sports media and sports betting offerings to create an amazing atmosphere for fans to watch and bet on sports. To celebrate the opening, we’re thrilled to host ESPN talent and programming at our property throughout the week,” John Drake, General Manager of Hollywood Casino at Greektown, said.

“We’re thrilled to open the first ESPN BET retail location in Detroit and become part of a community of deeply passionate sports fans. We want fans to come embrace a first-class betting experience and we’re excited to showcase the ESPN BET brand in a contemporary space,” Mike Morrison, Vice President of ESPN BET and ESPN Fantasy, said.

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ESPN Bet App Takes in More Money Since Dropping Barstool Brand

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Penn Entertainment Inc. is taking in more wagers from its new ESPN Bet sports-betting app than it did under the jettisoned Barstool brand, according to analysts and data from several states.

In Maryland, mobile wagers on ESPN Bet jumped to $42.4 million in December from $16.4 million under the Barstool name a year ago, according to state results reported last week. That placed Penn third behind industry leaders FanDuel and DraftKings Inc., and ahead of rivals BetMGM and Caesars Entertainment Inc.

In Iowa, Penn generated mobile sports wagers of $18.8 million in December, more than double the $7.2 million in the year-ago period, according to data released by the state last week.

“Preliminary data suggest the book improved on its predecessor’s small market share — and did so during a key seasonal period,” Brian Egger, a senior analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence, said.

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While the ESPN Bet app is off to a fast start, Penn is confronting high costs and entrenched rivals in its quest for a bigger foothold in online gaming.

The casino operator based in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, originally launched its sports-betting business under the Barstool name, after acquiring the online video and podcast company from sports commentator David Portnoy. After challenges associated with the controversial founder, Penn gave Barstool back to Portnoy and signed a $2 billion deal last year to license Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN brand.

The December numbers follow the strong launch for ESPN Bet on Nov. 14. Penn’s share of sports-betting revenue in November in six states was about 12%, according to Macquarie Group analyst Chad Beynon. That’s up from about 2% for Penn when it used the Barstool name.

“Though still early,” the reports for ESPN Bet are “positive,” Beynon wrote in a Jan. 3 research note. The brand will likely increase betting revenue because it appeals to a wider range of potential customers, including women, he said.

ESPN has been promoting the app on its TV shows, website and other outlets, using the site’s betting odds in stories, for example, rather than other brands.

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