To Top

First Brick-And-Mortar ESPN Sportsbook To Open In Detroit

Written By J.R. Duren on February 20, 2024
ESPN Bet Retail Sportsbook Rendering For Detroit Opening

Less than a year after ESPN announced a 10-year partnership with Penn Entertainment to offer sports betting, the popular brand will open its first brick-and-mortar sportsbook in April at Hollywood Casino at Greektown in Detroit.

What we can expect from ESPN Bet at Greektown

A rendering of the sportsbook shows a sleek betting area with a massive LED screen, multiple televisions, a restaurant-style seating area, and a bar. The perimeter of the sportsbooks has several self-service betting kiosks.

From a revenue standpoint, the new ESPN Bet sportsbook should draw extra attention when it opens in April. Expect revenue to be paltry, as Detroit’s three retail sportsbooks generated $520,988 in January, with Greektown taking on around $1 million in losses.

PENN, however, is hoping that its sportsbook rebrand will provide a little lift during a time in which sports betting declines. Typically, casinos see their sports betting revenue peak between October and March, then dive during late spring and summer.

What that means for Greektown’s retail sportsbook revenue remains to be seen. The location will likely take some net losses as it promotes rebranding through promotional offers such as no-sweat first bets.

In an ESPN press release, PENN Entertainment CEO Jay Snowden said the opening is part of the company’s plan to expand the ESPN Bet brand:

“We’re thrilled to announce that our market-leading sportsbook Hollywood Casino at Greektown will debut as the first ESPN BET-branded sportsbook in our portfolio. Together with ESPN, we look forward to expanding the ESPN BET brand with our premium retail sportsbooks and creating unique omni-channel experiences at key PENN properties across the country.”

Brand growth is a key part of retail sportsbook strategy

ESPN Bet focuses on growing its brand, even if that means a rocky start for the first retail sportsbook.

“Growing the ESPN BET brand is essential in increasing our market share and ultimately reaching a podium position,” ESPN Bet Vice President Mike Morrison said.

“Our commitment to that shows in a variety of ways from new markets to our first retail presence, and we cannot wait to open ESPN BET inside Hollywood Casino at Greektown for fans in Michigan ahead of some key sporting events.”

The company noted that the sportsbook will host local ESPN radio personalities throughout the year.

The Greektown sportsbook rebrand may be the first of many for PENN, which runs retail sportsbooks in 32 states, including Michigan.

Photo by ESPN Press Room
J.R. Duren Avatar
Written by
J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

View all posts by J.R. Duren
Privacy Policy