Things to be aware of as ESPN BET debuts in Arizona

What to Know as ESPN BET Launches in Arizona
Fact Checked by Young Ruth

While the newest sports betting site in Arizona may not be a fresh face in the industry, it is a renowned brand that has a strong following among sports fans across the country.

The well-known sports television network ESPN has revealed the introduction of its “ESPN Bet” brand into Arizona’s sports betting industry. The network, headquartered in Bristol, has taken over the license that was previously held by Barstool Sportsbook.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Arizona branch of ESPN BET was officially unveiled following a 10-year partnership between ESPN and PENN Entertainment. Under the agreement, PENN will pay ESPN $1.5 billion over the course of the contract.

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Based on a company press release, the deal between PENN Entertainment and ESPN includes 31.8 million shares of PENN stock and allows for various exit strategies before the 10-year mark. In August, ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro commented on the agreement, expressing confidence that ESPN could expand its market share in a field dominated by DraftKings Sportsbook Arizona and FanDuel Sportsbook.

Pitaro stated in the August press release that their primary objective is to cater to sports fans by offering betting content and a smooth betting experience through their products. He explained that their strategy is simple – to fulfill the desires and expectations of fans by delivering what they have been requesting from ESPN.

ESPN’s sports betting program, “Daily Wager,” has been renamed “ESPN BET Live” in anticipation of the company’s expansion into the sports betting market in Arizona and beyond. ESPN BET will soon be available in multiple states, including Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

What can you anticipate from the ESPN Bet product?

Arizona customers who have used the Barstool Sportsbook for sports betting will now be required to download the ESPN BET app to continue placing wagers.

A representative from the Arizona Department of Gaming has verified that ESPN BET has received approval to launch in the state, as reported by Though no further details were given about the official start date of the new online sportsbook in Arizona.

Starting Tuesday, Barstool Sportsbook customers in Arizona will be able to use their current login details to access the ESPN BET app. All account information will be automatically transferred between both platforms for a seamless experience.

The future success of ESPN BET is uncertain, but it is worth noting that Barstool Sportsbook has achieved the fifth highest total handle among the 18 sportsbooks in Arizona since the state’s debut in September 2021, with a total of $384.4 million.

What the experts are saying about ESPN BET.

Daniel McIntosh, a teaching associate professor at Arizona State University, along with other experienced sports business and sports betting professionals, are interested in seeing how ESPN BET will disrupt the established market.

McIntosh brought up the emergence of new sports betting companies such as Fanatics Gaming as one of the primary obstacles that ESPN BET must overcome, highlighting the difficulty of competing with established operators.

McIntosh is wondering if ESPN can increase its market share by attracting users from other gaming platforms to ESPN Bet. Past efforts by other companies using promotions and free bets have not led to sustained usage and profitability. The key for ESPN will be minimizing user obstacles and providing a superior user experience or some other competitive edge. The emphasis will be on capturing a significant portion of the current market rather than expanding the market as a whole.

McIntosh proposes that in order to persuade bettors to switch from their current preferred operator, market disruptors like PENN Entertainment and ESPN BET will have to provide something truly remarkable. This task may present a formidable challenge for any new entrant, regardless of their industry experience.

McIntosh suggested that FanDuel and DraftKings are not likely to stay idle. It will be interesting to observe their competitive response as we near a busy betting season with NFL playoffs, NBA, and hockey games.

Brendan Bussmann, managing partner of B Global, believes that ESPN BET could disrupt the Arizona sports betting market. He emphasizes the importance of being patient when assessing the platform’s initial success.

According to Bussmann, the top player in sports broadcasting has introduced a sports betting platform in important states such as Arizona. Although this move could disrupt the market, achieving success will take time. Ultimately, the key factors will be the product’s quality and user engagement.

With the launch of ESPN BET, industry experts like Bussmann are closely monitoring how well the Worldwide Leader can integrate their traditional television content with their new online sports betting platform.

Bussmann has been discussing the potential launch of ESPN BET for years, with anticipation growing after the repeal of PASPA. He is intrigued to see how ESPN BET will merge media and sports betting to enhance the overall experience and is eager to witness its impact on the industry.



Peterson Christopher

Peterson Christopher has over seven years of experience covering sports and sports betting in Arizona. He now holds the position of lead writer at, following previous roles at, the Tucson Weekly, and the Green Valley News.

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