ESPN Bet Aims To Launch In Massachusetts In November ‘Before Thanksgiving’

Written By Matthew Bain on August 10, 2023
ESPN Bet launching Massachusetts in November, from playma.com

Massachusetts sports bettors will see Barstool Sportsbook rebrand into ESPN Bet this November.

That’s according to PENN Entertainment CEO Jay Snowden, who said during PENN’s Q2 earnings call Wednesday that the company hopes to get everything switched over from Barstool to ESPN branding “certainly before Thanksgiving.”

“We don’t have the firm date yet,” Snowden said. “Obviously, the team is working really hard on this reskinning of the app to ESPN Bet.”

Barstool Sportsbook has been the No. 4 sportsbook in MA

Barstool Sportsbook was one of six Massachusetts sports betting apps that launched on March 10. It has taken in the fourth-most total bets at $86.6 million. That’s good for $7.6 million in revenue. There is also a Barstool-branded retail sportsbook at Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville.

PENN sent shockwaves through the sports betting industry early this week when it and ESPN announced a partnership. The deal allows PENN to use ESPN branding in its sports betting product while gaining access to all the promotion, personalities and customer databases ESPN provides. As part of the deal, PENN also sold Barstool Sports back to founder Dave Portnoy.

What happens to money in Barstool Sportsbook accounts?

A PENN spokesperson told PlayMA that bettor funds currently in their Barstool Sportsbook accounts will automatically transfer over to ESPN Bet when the rebrand happens in November. In other words: Your money is safe, folks, and there’s nothing extra you need to do.

The Barstool Sportsbook app will be live and fully functional until it shifts over to ESPN Bet in November.

PENN wants to get ESPN Bet up and running as early in the NFL season as possible. Nov. 5 marks the halfway point of the season. Launching in November would allow ESPN Bet to seize on NFL regular-season games, the NFL playoffs, the Super Bowl and March Madness as an extended customer acquisition period, full of event-based MA sportsbook promos.

“So November and December, I think, on the promo side (our spending) would be pretty high,” Snowden told investors. “And then you’ve got a lot of really big sporting events after that, getting into NFL playoffs, obviously, the Super Bowl in February and then March Madness in March.”

Photo by Associated Press
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Matthew Bain

Matthew Bain is the News Content Manager at Catena Media, overseeing news content for the network's highest-priority regional sites. Massachusetts is a young, promising gambling market, so PlayMA is one of his focuses. Prior to joining Catena Media in 2022, Matthew won 10 statewide and national journalism awards during six years as a reporter and editor for the USA TODAY Network. Matthew's work primarily appeared in the Des Moines Register, but he was also featured in the Detroit Free Press, Indianapolis Star, Arizona Republic, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and USA TODAY. Throughout his career, Matthew's bylines have also appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Seattle Times, and Orange County Register.

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