ESPN Bet plans launch in New York, the largest U.S. betting market

ESPN Bet plans launch in New York, the largest U.S. betting market

ESPN Bet is coming to the Big Apple.

Penn Entertainmentwho operates the sports betting platform will pay Wynn Resorts 25 million US dollars for market access, it was said on Tuesday. It’s the same amount Wynn paid New York State to operate there.

Wynn Interactive, a subsidiary of Wynn Resorts, received a New York mobile sports betting license in 2021. Penn didn’t — and the company missed out on the action of the country’s largest sports betting market.

In the two years since New York launched online sports betting, at least $35.7 billion has been wagered in the state. During this period, every month but one saw higher betting than any other state.

When the state awarded the licenses, speculation swirled that Penn had lost a license for its Barstool Sportsbook due to the controversy surrounding Barstool founder Dave Portnoy. Neither the New York State Gaming Commission nor the company have ever confirmed this.

But last year, Penn sold Barstool back to Portnoy for $1 after paying $551 million.

The deal came about as Penn entered into a $1.5 billion deal plus $500 million in stock warrants over 10 years to license one of the most recognizable brands in sports: ESPN.

When ESPN Bet launched in mid-November, well after the start of the National Football League season, the company was in about 17 states and had about a 2% market share. But there was a noticeable improvement almost immediately. For example, it captured 7.4% market share in Pennsylvania in November, up from 3.7% in October.

FanDuel And DraftKings Nationally, BetMGM and Caesars still occupy a near duopoly, with BetMGM and Caesars occupying third and fourth spots. But Eilers & Krejcik estimated that ESPN Bet had an 8% market share when it launched in November, good enough to take third place.

Bank of America analyst Shaun Kelley wrote in a note on Friday that ESPN Bet could be a surprise beneficiary of Taylor Swift fans watching the NFL, and particularly Sunday’s Super Bowl, given the singer’s relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.

Now, if New York gambling regulators approve the license transfer to Penn, ESPN Bet could bring new and potentially formidable competition to the country’s largest sports betting market.

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2024-02-13 19:10:11