ESPN Bet Could Launch In NJ By November As PENN Expects ‘Competitive’ Product

Written By Grant Lucas on September 26, 2023
logo for espn, which looks to launch its espn bet sportsbook in new jersey by november

PENN Entertainment looks to launch its new ESPN Bet sportsbook by November. According to analysts from Wells Fargo, the app’s rollout represents a “priority” for both PENN and ESPN.

Specifically, PENN is targeting states with a legal online casino, which includes New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Within two months, NJ sports betting – if PENN has its way – will feature the new online sportsbook. That said, according to the Earnings+More newsletter, the actual product and platform remains the “biggest unknown.”

ESPN Bet expects to grab ‘elevated’ NJ sports betting market share

When PENN does eventually launch, ESPN Bet NJ, according to Wells Fargo analysts Earnings+More talked to, it expects to snag an “elevated” market share. Analysts at Wells Fargo also said that after the initial debut, PENN management looks for the sportsbook to stabilize at “high double-digit level.”

Certainly that means PENN will rely heavily on the ESPN brand as well as the quality of the product itself.

In fact, analysts said:

“Penn is adamant that ESPN Bet will be deeply integrated via all things ESPN.”

As reported by Earnings+More, PENN believes the ESPN Bet product will become “competitive,” analysts said. The company understands that customers will “take ‘free money’ from promotions.” But, as everyone in the industry knows, it’s not just about the name of the product.

Keeping customers at ESPN Bet “will depend on product and user experience,” analysts said.

Penn quickly transitions from Barstool to ESPN

PENN has gone down the sports media avenue before.

Just a few weeks ago, it was Barstool Sportsbook that operated in the Garden State. That is, until PENN entered into a 10-year deal with ESPN to have ESPN replace Barstool.

Despite the Disney-owned company long refuting reports that it would get into the legal sports betting world, ESPN pulled the trigger, calling PENN “the right long-term strategic partner to build ESPN Bet into a leading US sports betting platform.”

At the time of the partnership, PENN CEO Jay Snowden noted that the deal “marks another major milestone in PENN’s evolution from a pure-play US regional gaming operator to a North American entertainment leader. ESPN Bet will be deeply integrated with ESPN’s broad editorial, content, digital and linear product, and sports programming ecosystem.”

Meanwhile, the Barstool Casino would be separated from the sportsbook, creating the standalone Hollywood Casino NJ app to compete in the lucrative NJ online casino marketplace.

Photo by Barry Reeger / AP Photo
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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is a longtime sportswriter who has covered high school, collegiate, and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant now focuses his attention on the growing NJ online gambling and sports betting scene.

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