ESPN Partners With Penn Entertainment in $2 Billion Deal to Launch Sports Betting Platform

“ESPN Bet” marks the first time the Disney brand collaborates on a sportsbook

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ESPN is jumping into the sports-betting arena, launching a sportsbook called ESPN Bet in a nearly $2 Billion deal with Penn Entertainment.

The move marks the first time ESPN will be on a sports-wagering platform. The Disney entity was looking for its own way into the sports-betting arena. ESPN Bet, which is set to go live this fall, comes as a rebrand from what was originally Penn Entertainment’s Barstool Sportsbook. 

Penn Entertainment acquired Barstool back in February for $388 million. Penn will divest its stock in Barstool Sports to its founder David Portnoy. Per their agreement, Penn will have rights to 50% of gross proceeds that Portnoy brings in with any future sale or Barstool-related monetary income. 

As for ESPN’s wallet, Penn will divvy out $1.5 billion in cash to the network over a 10-year period. And it will also be given about $500 million of warrants to purchase 31.9 million Penn common shares. 

ESPN Bet will launch in 16 legalized betting states, some of which might include Iowa, Kansas, Illinois and Indiana.

Portnoy took to Twitter for an “Emergency Press Conference” to announce the news. “I Bought Back Barstool Sports,” Portnoy’s caption read.

“For the first time in a decade, I own 100% of Barstool Sports,” said Portnoy in an X post about the move, which you can watch below. “Not since the Chernin deal have I been in total control of everything.”