Penn Entertainment Announces Online Sports Gambling Partnership With NHL

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on November 30, 2023 - Last Updated on February 16, 2024
NHL Logo Seen On Goal Post Net

PENN Entertainment (PENN) has inked a deal for its brands – ESPN BET and theScore Bet – to become the National Hockey League’s (NHL) official sports betting partners.

According to the agreement, ESPN BET becomes an NHL partner in the US, while theScore Bet will be the league’s partner in Ontario, Canada.

PENN said the deal comes into effect immediately, covering:

  • NHL regular season
  • Stanley Cup Playoffs
  • 2024 NHL Winter Classic
  • 2024 NHL Stadium Series
  • 2024 NHL All-Star Weekend

As official league partners, both PENN’s brands will have access to various entitlements, like IP rights and media and marketing integrations across league programming and premium NHL experiences.

NHL partnership adds to ESPN BET’s recent launch

Earlier this month, ESPN BET went live in 17 states. The newly branded online sportsbook is a product of PENN’s partnership with Disney-owned ESPN. The ESPN BET launch also featured an advertising campaign presented by “SportsCenter” anchors Scott Van Pelt and Elle Duncan.

As the company noted on many occasions, the platform combines ESPN’s “industry-leading brand” and multiplatform reach with PENN’s in-house technology and sportsbook operational expertise. ESPN BET was initially created to rebrand and improve the existing Barstool Sportsbook app.

Commenting on the NHL partnership, Aubrey Levy, senior vice president of marketing and content, PENN Interactive, said in a BusinessWire news release:

“The recent launch of ESPN BET in the US is extremely exciting, and we’re thrilled to collaborate with the NHL to help market our new sports betting experience. Becoming an official partner allows us to more broadly engage hockey fans, develop compelling integrations and uniquely leverage NHL programming.”

It’s all about NFL fan engagement and gambling responsibly

NHL VP, Business Development, Jason Jazayeri commented: “There’s definite excitement in being one of the first leagues to partner with ESPN BET and PENN Entertainment.

From day one we’ve said our media rights deal with ESPN and The Walt Disney Company has been a big win for our fans and our league, and this new collaboration is further testament to the value of our partnership.

“The NHL is younger, faster and more exciting than ever, and delivers tremendous opportunity for fan engagement and responsible gaming experiences.”

Although betting is a form of entertainment, sports fans should always gamble responsibly. That’s why the NHL joined the NBA and MLB in the initiative to bring a message about responsible gambling nationwide.

Three professional sports leagues announced the launch of a gambling awareness ad, “Never Know What’s Next.” Through the campaign, the leagues wish to inform bettors with the critical message that there is no “easy money” in sports betting as “every play, every shot, every swing is unpredictable.”

The campaign directs fans to the National Council on Problem Gambling, which, among many things, offers responsible gambling resources for fans.

Photo by Mark Humphrey / AP Photo
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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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