November 15, 2023 3 min read


ESPN Bet: Disney’s Bold Move into Sports Gambling Hits 17 States

This launch follows Penn Entertainment's $1.5 billion deal with ESPN, granting the entertainment giant's name to the sports-gambling service for a decade, with an option for another 10 years

ESPN Bet, the newly rebranded sports gambling app owned by Penn Entertainment, made its grand debut on November 14 across 17 US states. 

ESPN Bet Emerges as a One-Stop Hub for Sports Enthusiasts

The app’s availability spans across Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Penn Entertainment aims to leverage ESPN’s widespread influence by operating ESPN Bet while ESPN actively promotes the app through its online and broadcast platforms.

ESPN Bet, a transformation of the existing Barstool Sportsbook app, is a venture into uncharted waters for Disney. Known for its family-friendly image, Disney is venturing into the world of sports gambling by associating with a platform that offers betting experiences to enhance fans’ enjoyment of the game.

Unlike its competitors DraftKings and FanDuel, which control a significant chunk of the online sports betting market, ESPN Bet aims to provide a one-stop-shop experience for sports enthusiasts, combining scores, highlights, and stories with betting opinions. 

At this year’s Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, Penn Entertainment and ESPN executives shared insights into ESPN Bet. ESPN emphasized its long-term commitment to sports betting, distancing itself from iGaming, while Penn Entertainment’s CEO, Jay Snowden, highlighted the strategy to integrate ESPN’s brand equity and customer database, aiming to leverage ESPN’s 200 million monthly viewers. 

Disney Aims to Boost Profits as ESPN Bet Launches into Sports Betting Arena

ESPN Bet’s launch is part of Disney’s broader strategy to boost profits across its entertainment empire. The sports broadcasting giant is entering the sports wagering business as online sports betting gains momentum, with Americans expected to wager over $100 billion on the hobby this year. The move is significant for Penn Entertainment as well, seeking a new sports betting partner after parting ways with Barstool.

Ahead of the launch, ESPN unveiled a new advertising campaign featuring SportsCenter anchor Scott Van Pelt, emphasizing the synergy between ESPN and ESPN BET apps. The campaign, set to launch around the sportsbook’s debut, will also feature SportsCenter anchor Elle Duncan. Additionally, ESPN Daily Wager will be rebranded as ESPN BET Live from November 10, coinciding with the sports betting platform’s launch. 

To access ESPN Bet, users must be physically located within a licensed state, but they can log in, deposit, withdraw, and check transaction history from anywhere in the United States. The app is available on Android and iOS devices, as well as via the web at being a late entrant into the betting scene, ESPN Bet’s arrival signals a significant player in the industry’s evolution, aiming to carve out its space in the saturated market.


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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