NEW YORK (AP) – ESPN Bet, a rebranded sports betting app owned by Penn Entertainment, is set to launch Tuesday.
pen a $1.5 billion deal was signed to ESPN for the rights to the sports media giant’s name in August. Under the agreement, Penn will operate ESPN Bet while ESPN promotes the app across its online and broadcast platforms.
It is not clear when ESPN Bet will be officially available for download. A Penn spokesman said the app is scheduled to launch Tuesday evening, but did not provide a specific time.
ESPN Bet is set to go live in 17 states – Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
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Under the August agreement, Penn’s rights to the ESPN brand will run for an initial ten years with the option to extend it for another 10 years. In addition to the $1.5 billion licensing deal, Penn also said it would grant ESPN rights worth about $500 million to buy shares in Penn.
ESPN Bet is a rebrand of an existing sports betting app, the online Barstool Sportsbook. Also in August, Penn said he sold Barstool Sports back to its founder Dave Portnoy.
ESPN Bet’s upcoming launch of ESPN Co.-owned Walt Disney Co. Disney is fiercely protective of its family-friendly image, which is not typically associated with the world of sports gambling.
At the time of the August deal, ESPN said it will use its platforms “to educate sports fans about responsible gambling” – for example by continuing to cover the sports betting industry with “journalistic integrity,” creating a “responsible gaming” committee within the company and developing marketing guidelines that “protect” fans.
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