ESPN Bet Outpaces Barstool in Revenue Race


In a striking move that’s shaking up the world of online betting, Penn Entertainment’s latest venture, ESPN Bet, has swiftly surpassed its predecessor, the Barstool Sportsbook, in terms of revenue generation. Introduced across 17 states on November 14, the mobile sports wagering application has begun to solidify its status, despite a full set of data from all participating states being yet to surface.

ESPN Bet’s impact was felt immediately—it clinched a formidable double-digit share of the gross gaming revenue in Indiana, Iowa, and Maryland right out of the gate. In Maryland alone, the app’s handle soared to $42.4 million, a striking contrast to Barstool Sportsbook’s $16.4 million the previous year. December’s figures in Iowa were no less impressive, with ESPN Bet drawing in a handle of $18.8 million, dwarfing its forerunner’s $7.2 million.

Not only is ESPN Bet thriving in terms of revenue, but its market share is also climbing significantly. In a remarkable leap in Maryland, ESPN Bet has nestled itself comfortably in third place in the pecking order of market share, trailing only the industry giants, FanDuel and DraftKings.

Despite the heavy burden that promotional spending can inflict on newcomers to the fiercely competitive US sports wagering market, Penn’s investment in attracting new clientele via ESPN Bet is showing signs of frugality and effectiveness. Analysts from both Bank of America and Jefferies have pinpointed that promotional outlays in states like Kansas, Kentucky, and Maryland remain within sensible limits. Penn’s judicious spending is imperative, especially considering their sizeable $2 billion commitment over ten years for the privilege of leveraging ESPN’s esteemed branding.

The deal with ESPN is set to bolster Penn’s interactive gaming unit’s EBITDA by an estimated $500 million to $1 billion over the long term. Despite these optimistic projections, ESPN Bet is expected to contend with losses upwards of $100 million in the current year, potentially deferring profitability until at least 2025.

The industry is feeling the ripple effects of ESPN Bet’s launch and Penn’s strategic client acquisition endeavors. November saw a spike in industry-wide promotional activity, influenced heavily by the mid-month debut of ESPN Bet. Well-established players like DraftKings and newer names in the market have also ratcheted up their promotional investments in response to ESPN Bet’s aggressive entrance.

Though initial evidence hinted at ESPN Bet nibbling away at the market shares of competitors like BetMGM and DraftKings, the general consensus within the industry remains optimistic. DraftKings, in particular, recognized a typical customer churn for the month and holds firm in the belief that ESPN Bet won’t just cannibalize the market but will rather expand the burgeoning market of US sports bettors.

As we witness the dynamic shifts within the world of sports betting, spurred on by innovative platforms like ESPN Bet, it’s clear the digital landscape of wagering is ever-expanding. For those with a keen interest in the thrill of the gamble and the strategic play of odds, this introduces an array of possibilities. In Canada, where the bettor’s appetite is diverse and ever-growing, the pursuit for the top-tier online casinos is relentless. On our own digital turf at West Island Blog, we tirelessly scout the horizon to bring you the [best online casinos]( this month has to offer. Whether you’re a seasoned bettor or a curious newcomer, join us as we navigate through the virtual casino floors for an experience that is both enthralling and trustworthy.


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