October 3, 2023 3 min read


Massachusetts Prepares for ESPN BET Launch Amidst PENN Rebranding Efforts

The rebranding efforts are part of a multi-year, multi-million dollar partnership between PENN Entertainment and ESPN, leaving Barstool Sports in the past

Massachusetts is abuzz with anticipation as ESPN BET, the rebranded version of Barstool Sportsbook by PENN Entertainment, prepares to make its grand entry into the state’s sports betting scene this November. 

PENN Entertainment Assures Massachusetts Regulators of Smooth Transition to ESPN BET

During a recent meeting with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, PENN Entertainment executives assured regulators that the transition from Barstool Sportsbook to ESPN BET was well underway. They clarified that the rebranding process was more than just cosmetic changes, with potential expansions in hardware capabilities to accommodate the expected surge in interest for their new product.

Addressing concerns about continued Barstool Sportsbook promotions during the transition, PENN Entertainment representatives emphasized their commitment to a seamless shift.

Despite previous claims by Barstool founder Dave Portnoy that the company’s association with Barstool hindered their acquisition of sports betting licenses, senior vice president and chief information officer at PENN, Chris Soriano, firmly stated that the company had never been denied any licenses due to its relationship with Barstool.

To promote ESPN BET, a comprehensive marketing strategy is in place, incorporating a mix of content, editorial, and digital integrations, talent promotions, and traditional media sponsorships. Additionally, PENN and ESPN are set to introduce new responsible gambling tools, aiming to destigmatize responsible gambling and make it an integral part of every player’s experience.

At the beginning of August, ESPN and Penn Entertainment joined forces to create ESPN BET, a groundbreaking sportsbook, following a $1.5 billion cash infusion from Penn Entertainment to ESPN. 

Massachusetts Regulator Resolves DraftKings Logo Dispute Amid Wagering Controversy

In other commission news, the ongoing debate about the necessity of adding “21+” wording to DraftKings’ logos at prominent sports venues was resolved. The commission unanimously approved waivers for DraftKings, allowing them until specific dates to update their logos at Fenway Park, TD Garden, and Gillette Stadium to comply with regulations.

DraftKings, in a bid to align with the commission’s requirements, has already begun updating digital logos but argued against imposing the “21+” signage inside the DraftKings Sports Zone at Gillette Stadium.

In July, DraftKings faced potential penalties from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission after accepting unauthorized wagers totaling $7,867 on UTR Pro Tennis Tour events, not listed as eligible for betting. DraftKings admitted the error, attributing it to a miscommunication between compliance and trading teams. 

Despite the company’s claim of an honest mistake, regulators deliberated the issue, with DraftKings emphasizing its clean track record in other states. The closed-door hearing, held on July 24, discussed sensitive information but did not lead to a final decision on penalties. 


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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