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ESPN Bet Setting to Launch in New York After Purchasing License

Written by: Michael Savio
Published February 20, 2024
6 min read
ESPN Bet Setting to Launch in New York After Purchasing License

ESPN Bet’s quick expansion into the US market is about to take another step. Penn Entertainment, which operates the ESPN Bet platform, announced that it had purchased WynnBet’s New York sports betting license for around $25 million.

The announcement is a massive win for Penn and ESPN Bet. New York is quickly becoming the largest market in the industry, but only nine licenses are available. That has kept sportsbooks like ESPN Bet, Fanatics, and other newcomers on the outside looking in. The Empire State will be the eighteenth market where the ESPN Bet platform will be available. 

The move comes as WynnBet struggles to capture market share in the online sports betting industry. In November 2023, they finished seventh in handle ($105,571,245) and dead last in win percentage (4.16%). The operator recently closed down their Massachusetts sportsbook, meaning they will have the WynnBET platform available in just two states once the New York license is transferred. 

New York has seen over $970 million in sports betting tax revenue since launching in January 2022. 

Penn Taking Major Losses Early On With ESPN Bet

While ESPN Bet has become a popular choice for bettors in the US, Penn has taken a significant loss since launching the platform in November 2023. Penn announced that they had lost $333.8 million, far outpacing their $150 million projection. 

The reason for the massive loss is twofold. The first cause is ESPN Bet's aggressive promotions to gain market share in new states. The second is an above-average win percentage for bettors. These losses will likely continue for some time as ESPN Bet continues to offer competitive promotions to break into new markets.

The losses will be worth it for Penn if they can hold on to customers once their opening promotions are over. The US market is dominated by DraftKings and FanDuel, leaving the rest of the operators to fight for a small chunk of market share.

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Michael Savio

412 Articles

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.

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