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Gaming and entertainment provider PENN Entertainment, Inc. disclosed on Tuesday that it is making arrangements to acquire Wynn Interactive Holdings’ mobile sports betting license in New York.

Upon regulatory approval, PENN will assume full ownership of Wynn’s online sportsbook, WSI US, as it finalizes the acquisition for $25 million. The acquisition includes the transfer of all permits associated with the sportsbook, previously granted by the New York State Gaming Commission in 2021, thus consolidating its operations under the PENN umbrella.

As part of the agreement, PENN will also be introducing its trendy and one of its newest ventures, ESPN BET, to the Empire State.

“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. “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.”

ESPN BET May Face Challenges Earning Top Spot in New York

Ever since PENN rebranded Barstool Sportsbook to ESPN BET in August of last year, the sportsbook has done so well in competing with big dogs and finding its way amongst the top five generators of handle in the states it operates in.

Although coming to the New York market, it is likely that ESPN BET will encounter difficulties in penetrating the market dominated by FanDuel and DraftKings. These online giants collectively held over 78% of the $1.96 billion mobile handle in January. This underscores the formidable presence and entrenched position these platforms hold, posing a challenge for ESPN BET to gain traction in the highly competitive online betting landscape.

At the moment, the 17 states it has debuted in include Maryland, Indiana, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, West Virginia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and Ohio.

Currently, PENN has its ventures riddled all over the US, with 43 properties in 20 states, online sports betting operational in 18 regions, and iCasino in 5 jurisdictions. Hence, its expansion in New York signifies a strategic move, as the Empire State stands as one of the biggest authorized betting markets. Since the first online sportsbook went live in the state in 2022, the Empire State has generated $37 billion in handle and stands as the only state where its monthly handle surpassed $2 billion three times.

The state’s momentum continues into the new year, with an impressive start as sportsbook revenue surged to $211.7 million in January. This achievement builds upon the milestone set in December 2023, where sports betting revenue soared to $188 million.

About the Author
Tebearau Egbe

Tebearau Egbe

Tebearau Egbe is a seasoned gambling writer with over four years of experience. Armed with a Masters degree in philosophy, Egbe possesses a unique ability to dissect complex industry developments, distilling them into insightful narratives that captivate readers.

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