ESPN Takes Giant Leap Into Sports Gambling with $2 Billion Deal
Sports Business

ESPN Takes Giant Leap Into Sports Gambling with $2 Billion Deal

penn entertainment

PENN Entertainment, the casino owner, has made a groundbreaking move in the sports betting industry, agreeing to a two billion dollar deal with ESPN. The Barstool Sportsbook will be rebranded as ESPN Bet, creating an exclusive 10-year agreement – with the option of extension – giving ESPN access to trademarks and the power to promote the betting service.

“Our collaboration with ESPN is an extraordinary opportunity to expand the reach of our brand,” stated Jay Snowden, CEO and President of PENN. “ESPN Bet will provide customers with unparalleled access and gaming experience that is deeply integrated with ESPN’s editorial content, programming ecosystem, and digital product.”

This major development marks a new chapter for both PENN Entertainment and ESPN, sure to add a unique dynamic to the world of sports betting. Only time will tell how this partnership will shape the future of wagering for bettors around the world.

In a surprise move, Penn National Gaming, Inc. (PENN) has reached an agreement with ESPN to make $1.5 billion in cash payments to the sports network over the next decade. In addition, PENN will also grant ESPN approximately $500 million worth of its shares and provide a representative seat on their board after three years.

This decision comes as PENN moves to sever ties with Barstool Sports, previously owned majority-wise by PENN. To this end, the gaming company has sold all its Barstool common stock to the site’s founder, David Portnoy.

In a “emergency press conference” streamed via X, Portnoy expressed his delight at becoming the sole owner of Barstool Sports for the first time in nearly ten years. He noted that his impending reign as full owner could potentially help him navigate through current gambling regulations with greater ease and autonomy.

Dave Portnoy, founder of Barstool Sports, recently opened up about the company’s regulatory difficulties and the unprecedented deal between Barstool and ESPN. In a statement, Penn National Gaming Inc., who acquired majority stake of Barstool in February, asserted their right to receive 50 percent of any future proceeds should Portnoy decide to sell.

To this, Portnoy emphatically declared that he would never part with Barstool Sports– a sentiment echoed despite Penn’s acquisition of Barstool earlier in the year. With regulations notwithstanding, it appears Portnoy is holding on tight to his beloved sports and entertainment empire.

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