ESPN Bet is here, and it’s entering a competitive sports betting scene. Now that Barstool Sportsbook is officially ESPN Bet, there are still plenty of details to keep an eye on. For example, with numerous Barstool retail locations across the country, the rebranding process is underway, but hasn’t been immediate.
ESPN Bet Sportsbook App Officially Launches
After plenty of anticipation, Barstool Sportsbook is now officially ESPN BET. The newest online betting site requires old Barstoool users to download a new mobile app, although the login credentials remain the same. The platform is also giving bonus bets to Barstool users that have placed a first bet with ESPN Bet.
Former Barstool Sportsbook users will have no issue with the transition, as the interface essentially remains the same. Possibly the biggest difference comes with the different promotions for existing users, which now feature different ESPN personalities such as Mike Greenberg and Elle Duncan.
Earlier in August, PENN Entertainment and ESPN agreed on a multi-billion dollar deal that would result in Barstool Sportsbook being rebranded as ESPN Bet. As part of this deal, Dave Portnoy purchased the Barstool Sports brand back from PENN Entertainment. Barstool Sportsbook Online originally rolled out in 2020. ESPN Bet is now available in 17 states across the U.S. Now that the platform is available, ESPN has updated its guidelines for employees, prohibiting them from announcing confidential information or betting on any assigned games.
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) November 14, 2023
Former Barstool Retail Sportsbooks Are Rebranding, But It Will Take Time
Like many other sports betting operators, Barstool Sportsbook had partnered with numerous brick-and-mortar casinos for retail sportsbooks. But with the ESPN Bet rebrand now here, there’s understandably some confusion over what will happen with these in-person betting locations.
For example, while Hollywood Casino Lawrenceberg used to have a retail Barstool Sportsbook, the location has since rebranded as The Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino Lawrenceberg and will likely become an ESPN Bet physical sportsbook in the future.
Plainridge Park Casino is a popular location in Plainville, Massachusetts that also offers sports wagering. Interestingly, the state has only had in-person sports betting available since January 31, 2023, with online Massachusetts sports betting launching in March. While that location had a Barstool Sportsbook to begin with, it is also currently working to relaunch as a retail ESPN Bet Sportsbook.
Ameristar Casino in Blackhawk, CO had also opened a large Barstool Sportsbook lounge, although that’s in the midst of a rebrand to ESPN Bet in the future. In the meantime, the location will be known as Ameristar Sportsbook.
Taken from that sample size, it appears that while the online sports betting app was quick to rebrand to ESPN Bet on the target date of November 14, 2023, brick-and-mortar sportsbooks will take a bit longer.
It’s important to know that retail sports betting numbers are generally significantly lower than online betting handles. Take the August numbers for the Maryland sports betting industry for example. Maryland bettors wagered a total of $250.3 million throughout the month, with $13.3 million of that total wagered at brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. That accounted for just 5.3% of the total handle. Still, retail sports betting has plenty of fans, and they’ll soon be able to wager with ESPN Bet in person.