December 19, 2023 3 min read


ESPN Bet Steals the Spotlight at Boston Gaming Summit

Initial data suggests that Penn Entertainment is broadening its market presence, revealing a positive increase in the number of female players joining ESPN Bet

At the 11th Annual Truist Securities GLLR Summit in Boston last week, the buzz surrounding the debut of ESPN Bet dominated conversations among gaming enthusiasts. The anticipation even found its way into the analysis by Truist Securities analyst Barry Jonas, who dedicated a significant portion of his conclave summary to the groundbreaking sports betting app.

Penn Entertainment Celebrates Success as ESPN Bet Emerges in 17 States with 4.9-Star Ratings

ESPN Bet, a joint venture between Penn Entertainment and ESPN, has already gone live in 17 states and provinces, garnering praise for its impressive download metrics, which have surpassed the 2 million mark. Penn Entertainment expressed its satisfaction with the app’s performance, highlighting a stellar 4.9-star rating from online reviews.

Investors are eyeing a 5% market share for ESPN Bet, despite the absence of early financial reports. Jonas observed that early data indicated that Penn was expanding the market, demonstrating an encouraging influx of female players, which he interpreted as a testament to the influence of the ESPN brand.

While the retention of customers remains uncertain, executives at Penn are optimistic, noting increased spending on wagers even as promotional funds dwindle. Despite a challenging November in terms of hold, Jonas observed strong initial wagering volumes and anticipated growth in promotional allocations.

Addressing concerns raised by Jonas, Penn executives assured that issues such as the speed of cash withdrawals and parlay treatment of pushed legs are being actively addressed, with expectations of the application becoming an “industry standard” in the first quarter of the coming year.

ESPN’s Bet Mode Set to Debut for Super Bowl

Looking ahead, ESPN plans to introduce its Bet Mode within the media app in time for the Super Bowl. The long-term vision includes integration with ESPN’s existing fantasy sports app.

The spotlight shifted to New York state, where ESPN Bet aims to secure a pivotal presence. Discussions are underway to acquire an Empire State license from an existing operator, with hopes of approval and entry in the coming year. However, the app faced a setback in Connecticut, losing out on an online license to newcomer Fanatics due to unfortunate timing.

According to an earlier analysis by Chad Beynon from financial services company Macquarie, ESPN Bet is off to a promising start, securing a notable market share in states like Iowa, Maryland, and Indiana. Despite being in its early days and not yet on par with established brands like BetMGM, DraftKings, or FanDuel, ESPN Bet has shown steady growth, posting a 16% increase in average handle in the three outlined states and surpassing 1.1 million downloads in its first week across 17 total states. 


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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