August 9, 2023 3 min read


ESPN and Penn Entertainment Team Up and Reveal Upcoming ESPN BET Launch

This move follows ESPN's gradual expansion into the sports gaming arena and is anticipated to disrupt the rapidly growing sports betting industry

ESPN and Penn Entertainment are set to shake up the sports betting landscape with their groundbreaking partnership, giving birth to the ESPN BET sportsbook

Penn Entertainment’s Rebranding Paves the Way for ESPN BET Launch

Under the terms of the agreement, Penn Entertainment will undergo a rebranding effort, transforming its existing Barstool Sportsbook into ESPN BET. This transformation will be rolled out across 16 states where Penn Entertainment is currently licensed. The rebranding initiative will encompass a mobile app, website, mobile website, and select retail locations, all bearing the distinctive ESPN brand.

To seal the deal, Penn Entertainment will funnel $1.5 billion in cash to ESPN over the next decade, alongside granting ESPN $500 million worth of warrants for the acquisition of around 31.8 million common shares of Penn Entertainment. The collaboration also holds provisions for additional bonus warrants, contingent upon the performance of ESPN BET.

ESPN BET will emerge as the exclusive sportsbook for ESPN, deeply integrated into the network’s programming and content lineup, slated to commence in the upcoming autumn. This strategic move aims to cater to sports enthusiasts’ dual cravings for informative betting content and seamless betting capabilities from within ESPN’s digital ecosystem.

Chairman Pitaro Envisions Seamlessly Integrated Sports Betting Experience

Jimmy Pitaro, chairman of ESPN, commented on the partnership: “Our primary focus is always to serve sports fans, and we know they want both betting content and the ability to place bets with less friction from within our products.” 

Pitaro, together with Jay Snowden, CEO of Penn Entertainment, shared their enthusiasm for leveraging the strengths of both companies to craft an unmatched user experience for seasoned bettors and newcomers alike.

Penn Entertainment, with licenses spanning 16 states including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Michigan, is primed to capitalize on the ever-expanding legal sports betting market in the United States. 

This alliance marks ESPN’s strategic pivot into the lucrative world of sports gaming. The media giant has already delved into betting-oriented programming, hosting multiplatform shows and prominently displaying odds across its various platforms. Additionally, ESPN has established itself as a hub for comprehensive gaming industry coverage on its website and social media channels.

Notably, former NFL athlete and sports media personality Pat McAfee left his previous partnership with FanDuel, signing on with ESPN to bring his popular YouTube show to a broader audience. McAfee’s charismatic style and sports insights have earned him a significant following, and his move to ESPN is expected to enhance his reach and impact in the sports media industry.


Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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