Strong Launch Could Make ESPN Bet A Top Three Sportsbook

ESPN Bet has to compete with some heavy hitters in the U.S. sports betting market, but the platform has the potential to be in the top three mobile sportsbooks alongside FanDuel and DraftKings.

The online betting site has only been around for two months, but has quickly gained a strong fanbase. A full rollout in the state of New York would definitely play a major role in the platform’s growth.

ESPN Bet’s Strong Debut Brings In Top Three Handle In Numerous States

ESPN Bet has been making the case as a top-three sports betting site in the U.S. The new online sportsbook certainly seemed poised to start out with a bang when it launched in November. For example, in Ohio, ESPN Bet had approximately $30 million spent on promotional credit. SBC Americas reported that his was around half of the entire $58 million in the state’s promotional credit.

While this is definitely a large amount, it ultimately paid off. ESPN Bet brought in $70.8 million in total handle throughout the month, trailing only heavyweights like FanDuel Ohio, which had a $293.3 million handle, and DraftKings Ohio, which had a $275.8 million handle.

The online sportsbook was also ahead of other major names in terms of betting handle, such as BetMGM Ohio (which had a $50 million handle) and Bet365 Ohio (which brought in $45.4 million). ESPN Bet’s $12 million in total revenue was also third throughout the month, behind DraftKings at $22.5 million and FanDuel at $21 million.

But Ohio wasn’t the only state where ESPN Bet got off to a strong start. Massachusetts, another state that rolled out sports betting in 2023, saw an instant impact front the launch of ESPN Bet. Penn Interactive reportedly collected $39.1 million in bets throughout November as Massachusetts bettors began signing up for ESPN Bet, ranking third in the state. DraftKings Sportsbook was the top sports betting site in the state throughout November at $320 million, while FanDuel collected $181.5 million in total handle. The mobile sportsbook would stay in third place throughout December as well.

ESPN Bet also performed well in Maryland during its debut month, with a total handle of $33.3 million. While this again trailed FanDuel and DraftKings, the mobile sportsbook outperformed plenty of major sports betting operators like Caesars Sportsbook ($25.5 million), Fanatics Sportsbook ($19 million), and BetRivers Sportsbook ($5.1 million). BetMGM came in third with a $35.9 million handle.

The coming months will show if ESPN Bet continues to outpace betting operators like BetMGM and Caesars.

ESPN Bet Launched Two Months Ago

ESPN Bet has only been available for a few months now, but the online betting site is already gaining a large fanbase. The mobile sportsbook officially launched in 17 states on November 14, 2023. These states include Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, and Massachusetts.

The introduction of ESPN Bet was essentially a relaunch of Barstool Sportsbook, with the transition coming thanks to a licensing deal between Penn Entertainment and ESPN. Alongside the launch came a rebrand of the betting-themed ESPN show The Daily Wager, which is now ESPN Bet Live. There were also some general changes from the former Barstool Sportsbook interface, including the addition of ESPN personalities to different promotions.

New York Launch Would Give ESPN Bet A Major Boost

While ESPN Bet is active in some of the top sports betting markets across the U.S., it’s still not taking wagers in New York. But that could change in the future as, according to Legal Sports Report, Penn Entertainment is seeking a sports betting license for ESPN Bet in the state of New York.

In order for the mobile sportsbook to expand into the Empire State, one of the current mobile sportsbooks would need to relinquish its license, as New York only allows nine sports betting apps with the current bid. Three potential options include Bally Bet Sportsbook, WynnBET Sportsbook, and Resorts World Bet.

Anthony Elio is the Lead Writer for LINEUPS.com, focusing on sports betting, online casino gaming, and horse racing. He covers state betting handles, sportsbook partnerships, operator news, and NHL picks. Outside of his work with LINEUPS, Elio has also written for Daily Fantasy Cafe, Innovation & Tech Today, Krazy Coupon Lady, and Residential Tech Today.

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