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ESPN BET Is Coming to New York Through Wynn Interactive Deal

Robert Linnehan

by Robert Linnehan in Sports Betting News

Updated Feb 13, 2024 · 7:53 AM PST

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Apr 16, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; General view of an ESPN microphone before the game between the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
  • ESPN BET will launch in New York in 2024
  • PENN Entertainment announced a New York market access deal with Wynn Interactive Holdings
  • PENN Entertainment acquired the license for $25 million

ESPN BET is New York bound.

PENN Entertainment finally secured access into the New York sports betting market, as it announced a deal for WSI US, LLC, from Wynn Interactive Holdings for $25 million. WSI US, LLC, is the entity that hold the company’s online sports betting licenses that were issued by the New York State Gaming Commission in 2021.

PENN Entertainment and its then-Barstool Sportsbook partner applied for a New York online sports betting license in 2021 and were not selected.

PENN Finally Reaches New York

PENN Entertainment announced it would launch ESPN BET in New York in 2024. The New York State Gaming Commission will likely have to approve the acquisition in the same way it approved Fanatics Betting and Gaming’s acquisition of PointsBet and its New York sports betting license.

“This is an important development that will bring ESPN BET to the largest regulated online sports wagering market in North America,” said Jay Snowden, PENN Entertainment CEO and President, in a press release. “Together with ESPN, we’re building a brand that is synonymous with sports betting, and operating in the New York market is key as we grow ESPN BET across the U.S.”

Wynn’s online sports betting license had been identified as a potential target of acquisition for PENN Entertainment ever since the company announced it would close sports betting and iGaming operations in eight states this past summer.

Wynn announced it would cease operations in Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, but “evaluate” its options in New York.

PENN Entertainment has long had interest in working in New York. When New York opened its application process in 2021 for its nine initial online sports betting licenses, PENN and its Barstool Sportsbook brand partnered with Fanatics Betting and Gaming and Kambi for a joint application. The three companies projected its bid could result in $1 billion in incremental tax revenue for the Empire State over a decade.

Ultimately, the New York State Gaming Commission did not accept the group’s bid.

WynnBET Struggled in New York

PENN Entertainment hopes to have more success in the Empire State with ESPN BET than WynnBET experienced in the state.

Since launching in January 2022, WynnBET has reported $218.38 million in online sports betting handle. Its total handle since launching in the state accounted for just 0.5% of the state’s total online sports betting handle.

By comparison, FanDuel, the handle leader in the state, has reported $15.3 billion in online sports betting handle. FanDuel’s total online sports betting handle has accounted for 40.7% of the state’s total handle.

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