Thanks to a new partnership between Quail Hollow Club and PENN Sports Interactive, ESPN BET will have market access in the state of North Carolina. Additionally, PENN Sports Interactive now has an active sponsorship with the Wells Fargo Championship to make ESPN BET the event’s official betting operator.
North Carolina sports betting is rolling out in 2024, with March Madness looking like a likely launch window.
New PENN Partnership Gives ESPN BET Market Access In North Carolina
It’s just been announced that ESPN BET, the newest mobile sportsbook to launch in the U.S., has gained market access in the state of North Carolina. This is due to a new partnership between Quail Hollow Club (a country club in Charlotte) and PENN Sports Interactive (a subsidiary of PENN Entertainment Inc.). This new long-term deal will give PENN market access to launch ESPN BET in the Tar Heel State.
Quail Hollow Club has been hosting major events for decades now, such as Kemper Open, World Seniors Invitational, and PGA Championship. The golf course will also host the upcoming Wells Fargo Championship, a popular PGA Tour event, for the 20th time.
As part of the partnership announcement, it was also revealed that ESPN BET will be the Wells Fargo Championship’s official betting operator. The event will be held from May 6-112 of 2024.
Head of PENN Interactive Benjie Levy said of the partnership, “We are thrilled to partner with Quail Hollow Club and the Wells Fargo Championship as we prepare to bring our new online sports betting brand, ESPN BET, to North Carolina.” Quail Hollow Club president Johnny Harris echoed this excitement in the press release: “We welcome the upcoming launch of regulated online sports wagering in North Carolina and are extremely pleased to partner with a leading gaming and entertainment operator in PENN Entertainment,”
NEWS: PENN Entertainment has announced a strategic partnership with Quail Hollow Club for ESPN BET market access in North Carolina. Additionally, @ESPNBET will become the Exclusive Official Betting Operator of @WellsFargoGolf, held at Quail Hollow Club.🏌️
Read more:… pic.twitter.com/4Y07tZAzlW
— PENNEntertainment (@PENNEntertain) December 5, 2023
North Carolina Sports Betting Could Launch In Time For March Madness
After Governor Roy Cooper signed the sports betting bill HB 347 into law, North Carolina sports betting was officially legalized. However, the wait was now on for the full launch of the state’s sports betting market, with a target date between January 8 and June 14, 2024. The North Carolina Lottery Commission will be able to approve 12 online sportsbooks to launch in the state, which now includes ESPN BET.
Originally, the target date was February 11, 2024, coinciding with Super Bowl 58. However, it was later revealed that this goal would be delayed, with no officially confirmed date. However, it’s looking more likely that North Carolina could launch online sports betting close to March Madness, which officially starts on March 19, 2024.
Do any of these Knicks vs. Bucks props look like winners? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/zBZ5EbGcxd
— ESPN BET (@ESPNBet) December 6, 2023
ESPN BET Approaches One Month Of Operation
On November 14, 2023, ESPN BET officially went live in the sports betting industry. Now, ESPN BET is available in 17 U.S. states such as Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, as well as the newly launched Kentucky sports betting industry. The mobile sportsbook is essentially a rebranding of Barstool Sportsbook, the former PENN Entertainment wagering platform.
While the interface essentially remains the same, ESPN BET features personalities from the channel with its promotions, featured specials with shows like First Take. With intentions to launch in North Carlina and the Wells Fargo Championship partnership, it’s clear that ESPN BET is looking to compete with top sports betting operators like DraftKings and FanDuel.