To Top

ESPN Bet Is Coming To New York As Penn Buys WynnBet’s Sports Betting License

Written By Tebearau Egbe on February 14, 2024
ESPN Logo At NFL Game

Penn Entertainment, Inc., is acquiring Wynn Interactive Holdings’ online sports betting license in New York, giving Penn’s sportsbook, ESPN Bet, access to the nation’s largest sports betting market.

Pending regulatory approval, Penn will take over ownership of Wynn’s online sportsbook, WSI US, in a deal worth $25 million. This transaction encompasses the transfer of all permits associated with the sportsbook, previously sanctioned by the New York State Gaming Commission in 2021, effectively consolidating its operations under Penn.

In a news release, Penn Chief Executive Officer and President Jay Snowden said the move will undoubtedly enhance the visibility of ESPN Bet.

“This is an important development that will bring ESPN Bet to the largest regulated online sports wagering market in North America. 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 has seen success since its debut

ESPN Bet made its debut on Nov. 14 and has been competing with industry leaders for market position and realizing top-five revenue generation in the states where it operates.

Between Nov. 14 and Nov. 20, 2023, the number of downloads for ESPN Bet exceeded 1.1 million, an unprecedented achievement in sports betting applications. It shattered the previous record for first-week downloads set by any sportsbook.

In New York, ESPN Bet will likely encounter difficulties in penetrating a sports betting market dominated by FanDuel and DraftKings. Should the state grant approval for the acquisition, Penn’s ESPN Bet will enter a competitive arena with prominent online sports betting leaders such as:

  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel
  • Caesars
  • BetRivers
  • Fanatics

At the moment, ESPN Bet is live in 17 states:

  1. Arizona
  2. Colorado
  3. Illinois
  4. Indiana
  5. Iowa
  6. Kansas
  7. Kentucky
  8. Louisiana
  9. Maryland
  10. Massachusetts
  11. Michigan
  12. New Jersey
  13. Ohio
  14. Pennsylvania
  15. Tennessee
  16. Virginia
  17. West Virginia

While Penn is expanding into many sports betting states, Wynn, on the other hand, is in the process of phasing out its sports betting operations. In a move announced last August, it disclosed its decision to discontinue online betting services in eight states: Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

And early this month, WynnBet’s online sportsbook ceased operations in Massachusetts, although its retail sportsbook remained active.

New York is one of the most lucrative online gambling markets

New York’s status as one of the largest authorized betting markets in the US makes it a prime target for expansion. Since the launch of the first online sportsbook in 2022, the Empire State has seen tremendous growth, with a handle surpassing $2 billion multiple times and totaling $37 billion to date.

The state isn’t done yet, as it still has bill S8185 filed by Sen. Joseph Addabbo which will expand online gaming in the state if approved. Adding New York online casinos to available gambling options in the state could be a game-changer in the US market.

You can keep track of current state legislation, including New York, with our online casino bill tracker.

Tebearau Egbe Avatar
Written by
Tebearau Egbe

Tebearau Egbe has written about gambling for more than four years. She has a Master's degree in philosophy and possesses a unique ability to dissect complex industry developments, distilling them into insightful narratives for readers.

View all posts by Tebearau Egbe
Privacy Policy