December 15, 2023 3 min read


Analysts Weigh ESPN Bet’s Prospects at Taking the Market

Things are looking for ESPN Bet, the long-anticipated sportsbook offshoot of the namesake media company, which has been long in the making

A new analysis by Chad Beynon from Macquarie, a financial services company, has outlined that the first forays into the market have been already promising. To begin with, Iowa, Maryland and Indiana have already seen ESPN Bet secure a significant market share, and although the company is not yet “up there” when it comes to established brands such as BetMGM, DraftKings or FanDuel, the early-day numbers are looking reassuring.

Good Start of ESPN Bet with Steady Share of the Market

ESPN has become a religiously followed media publication when it comes to sports and the launch into sports betting has been followed by its most dedicated readers. Basically, ESPN Bet has registered a double-digit growth posting a 16% jump in average handle in the three states outlined by the analyst, although the app is present in 17 states in total. ESPN Bet has already surpassed 1.1 million downloads in its first week of operations.

Penn Entertainment is also happy with the results, as the previously running sportsbook brand, Barstool Sports, which was superseded by ESPN Bet, did flag in comparison. The ESPN branding seems to have contributed a lot to stoking interest in the company’s existing platform and technological capabilities.

ESPN Bet is not exactly going to come through the front door clawing share from its competitors outright. Although a brand with very strong loyalty from its followers, ESPN bet is likely to secure about 8% of the market share, based on a recent survey by hedge fund managers by Needham.

Although these numbers are speculative and based on opinion, they are indicative that DraftKings and FanDuel, while concerned about the new betting kid on the block, are unlikely to cede ground. The novelty factor will wear off and when the dust settles there will only be stiff, pragmatic competition left.

Fanatics Sportsbook Possibly to Mitigate Impact ESPN Bet’s Impact

Then again, there is another mitigating factor – the arrival of Fanatics Sportsbooks, which is also a new player and highly-hyped one. These two companies making their move in the same year definitely see them butting heads for new customers, although admittedly they are relying on an already dedicated base of followers.

ESPN Bet may have the upper hand when it comes to driving more involved bettors, but Fanatics could easily galvanize a base of sports fans who are ready to splurge on sports apparel, and why not the occasional bet. Whatever the future, ESPN Bet is sending a strong signal already in the early days that is if you can trust Beynon’s assessment.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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