ESPN Bet is Off to a Great Start Since Being Launched
Penn Entertainment’s ESPN Bet mobile sports betting app has been live for about two months now. The app was launched on November 14th in 17 states. In that brief period it has outperformed its predecessor Barstool Sportsbook. It should be noted that not all of those states have delivered November data, let alone December numbers. But early indications from some states confirm ESPN Bet is generating more revenue than Barstool Sportsbook did for the same period one year ago.
Right from the start ESPN Bet garnered a double digit share of gross gaming revenue in Maryland, Iowa, and Indiana. Last month in Maryland, ESPN Bet’s handle was $42.4 million. That is more than double the $16.8 million Barstool Sportsbook reported one year earlier. In Iowa, ESPN Bet’s handle was $18.8 million which was substantially more than the $7.2 million generated by the Barstool Sportsbook app in December 2022.
When new operators enter the sports betting market they tend to spend heavily on promotions. This is obviously to get new customers to use their app. The typical concern, however, is that they won’t be able to retain those clients. Bank of America analyst Shaun Kelley, however, noted that that the operator’s promo spending in Kansas, Kentucky, and Maryland was tolerable. ESPN Bet lowered their bonus offer to new clients to $150 down from $250. Spending is critical for Penn because the regional casino operator is paying ESPN $2 billion in cash and stock over the next 10 years to use the sports network’s brand.
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