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Penn Entertainment is set to launch its new ESPN Bet Sportsbook in Massachusetts next month, but the state has publicly shown frustration over their lack of communication. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which regulates sports betting, spoke to the media regarding Penn’s failure to answer critical questions before the launch. The lack of communication is sending up red flags, especially with the expected launch date quickly approaching.
“I think this process seems to be a little bit backward,” MGC Commission Nakisha Skinner said of the leadup to ESPN Bet’s launch. “I am not aware that we have gotten anything from PENN Entertainment relative to what they are proposing here. We’ve spoken to them about this in very general terms. There’s a lot of media attention to this deal, but everything I know about what is proposed to happen here has not really come from PENN Entertainment. That’s a disadvantage for us as a commission because we don’t know where to start.”
Penn has run into issues with the MGC in the past, which only fuels frustration over ESPN Bet. While the state has been supportive of ESPN Bet, Skinner’s comments made it clear that they have some growing concerns.
While ESPN Bet is new, it will be taking over for Penn’s Barstool Sportsbook, which is currently live in the Old Bay State. Barstool landed in hot water with the MGC a few times, particularly around how their media personalities were used. Penn has discontinued their partnership with Barstool, but the MGC has continued to push Penn over the issues.
Given that ESPN is one of the largest sports media companies in the world, the MGC has similar concerns. They are looking for Penn to provide information on how their media personalities will promote and work with the new sportsbook.
The lack of answers to these questions has the MGC frustrated that the issues that came from Barstool will only get worse under ESPN Bet.
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.More info on Michael Savio
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