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Penn Entertainment Completes Transition To ESPN Bet Branding

James Murphy
by in Gaming Industry on
  • Penn Entertainment has completed the transition of their online sportsbook branding to ESPN Bet.
  • The company signed a long term deal with ESPN in August 2023.
  • ESPN Bet is now live in seventeen US states.

Penn Entertainment has announced the transition of their online sportsbook brand to ESPN Bet from the previous Barstool Sportsbook moniker. Penn Entertainment (the former Penn National Gaming) signed a long term partnership deal with ESPN in August 2023. The ESPN Bet sports wagering platform is now live in seventeen US states. In addition, casino gaming is available in Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia leveraging the Hollywood Casino brand.

The mainstream sports and news media has made a big deal out of ESPN entering the betting business, but it’s important to keep in mind that there’s a pretty sizable track record of sportsbook/media partnerships not working out. In the past couple of years we’ve seen Fox Bet (Fox Sports), MaximBet (Maxim Magazine) and FuboBet (FuboTV) throw in the towel. DAZN has scaled back their US sports betting plans though the company has launched in Europe. As of last check, SISportsbook (Sports Illustrated) is live in three states while the Daily Racing Form’s DRF Sportsbook operates a retail and online presence in Iowa. Penn Entertainment also owns theScore Bet which threw in the towel on the US market awhile ago. The brand is still doing well in North America’s best sports betting market of Ontario.

PENN CEO & President Jay Snowden had this to say about the launch:

“We’re extremely proud to introduce ESPN Bet and look forward to delivering an exceptional customer experience to fans across the US. Our successful launch is the culmination of months of hard work across both teams and we could not be more excited to roll out ESPN Bet in partnership with ESPN.”

“PENN’s operational excellence paired with ESPN’s unmatched brand and reach is a powerful combination that will drive this compelling new sportsbook.”

ESPN Bet operates on the Penn Interactive Gaming Platform, a proprietary technology stack built by PENN’s in-house product and engineering teams. Shares in PENN Entertainment Inc (NASDAQ:PENN) closed 1.62 per cent higher at $24.40 per share in New York Wednesday.

One place you haven’t seen anything about ESPN Bet is on ESPN’s TV and online platforms. There’s been no mention at all on the front page of the website. Even on the ‘sports betting’ main page you have to scroll down well below the fold–almost to the bottom of the page–to see a mention of ESPN Bet. I zoomed out to 33% and still couldn’t get the ESPN Bet blurb into the accompanying screenshot.

Nothing but respect for Penn Entertainment and CEO Jay Snowden might be the smartest guy in the US gaming industry but if this isn’t ‘writing on the wall’ I don’t know what is.

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