New York emerges as new market for ESPN Bet with $25M deal

ESPN Bet New York
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ESPN Bet has gained access to America’s largest online gaming market.

On Tuesday, PENN Entertainment, which operates ESPN Bet, agreed to acquire Wynn Interactive Holding’s online sports betting licenses in New York. The transaction will see PENN pay $25 million to acquire the licenses, which are held under a Wynn Resorts entity, WSI US.

Wynn’s sports betting platform, WynnBet, launched in the Empire State in February 2022. As part of the transaction, WynnBet will shutter operations of online wagering in New York.

“This is an important development that will bring ESPN Bet to the largest regulated online sports wagering market in North America,” said PENN CEO and President Jay Snowden in a statement. “Together with ESPN, we’re building a brand that is synonymous with sports betting, and operating in the New York market is key as we grow ESPN BET across the U.S.”

ESPN Bet is expanding its reach after initially launching in 17 states across the U.S. last November. The operator made its debut as a rebrand of Barstool Sportsbook by PENN Entertainment. PENN purchased a 36% stake in media brand Barstool Sports in 2020 for $163 million. In 2023, PENN acquired the remaining 64% in a deal valued at $388 million.

Last August, PENN sold Barstool back to founder Dave Portnoy for $1 to launch ESPN Bet.

ESPN Bet quickly garnered favor with sports bettors as its app saw more than 1.2 million downloads in the first two weeks of launch, including roughly 235,000 on its first full day.

The operator will also be entering a new market next month. Last December, ESPN Bet agreed to a partnership with Quail Hollow Club to launch operations in North Carolina. The Tar Heel State will allow licensed operators in the state to go live with wagering on March 11.