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Penn Entertainment Acquires Wynn’s NY Sports Betting License

Penn Entertainment's acquisition of Wynn Interactive's New York sports betting license opens doors for ESPN Bet's entry into the state's lucrative market, promising increased competition among industry leaders.
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Branimir Ivanov | Senior News Contributor

Updated: Feb 15, 2024

Penn Entertainment Acquires Wynn's NY Sports Betting License

Penn Entertainment, Inc. has made a strategic move in the fiercely competitive world of online sports betting by acquiring Wynn Interactive Holdings' coveted online sports betting license in New York. This acquisition grants Penn's sportsbook, ESPN Bet, access to the largest sports betting market in the United States.

The deal, valued at $25 million pending regulatory approval, will see Penn assume ownership of Wynn's online sportsbook, WSI US, along with all associated permits previously sanctioned by the New York State Gaming Commission in 2021. Through this transaction, Penn aims to consolidate its operations and elevate the visibility of ESPN Bet in the bustling New York market.

 

The Key Takeaways

  1. Penn Entertainment secures Wynn Interactive's New York sports betting license, enabling ESPN Bet's expansion into the state's lucrative market.
  2. The acquisition, valued at $25 million pending regulatory approval, positions Penn to compete with established industry leaders in New York, such as FanDuel and DraftKings.
  3. ESPN Bet's entry into New York reflects Penn's aggressive expansion strategy, amidst the Empire State's emergence as one of the largest authorized betting markets in the U.S.

Penn's Chief Executive Officer and President, Jay Snowden, expressed confidence in the move, emphasizing the significance of ESPN Bet's expansion into New York. Snowden stated, “This is an important development that will bring ESPN Bet to the largest regulated online sports wagering market in North America. 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 has already made significant strides since its debut on November 14, achieving top-five revenue generation in states where it operates and surpassing 1.1 million downloads within its first week, setting a new industry record. However, entering the New York market will pose challenges, as ESPN Bet will compete with established leaders such as FanDuel and DraftKings.

Despite the competitive landscape, ESPN Bet's expansion efforts extend beyond New York, with operations currently live in 17 states including Arizona, Colorado, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, among others. Penn's aggressive expansion strategy contrasts with Wynn's recent decision to phase out its sports betting operations in several states, including Arizona, Colorado, and Virginia.

 

“This acquisition marks a pivotal moment for Penn Entertainment as we expand ESPN Bet into the largest regulated online sports wagering market in North America. Together with ESPN, we're poised to establish a brand synonymous with sports betting excellence, with New York serving as a key milestone in our nationwide growth.”

 

The Conclusions

New York's emergence as one of the largest authorized betting markets in the U.S. presents immense opportunities for growth. With a handle surpassing $2 billion multiple times since the launch of the first online sportsbook in 2022, the Empire State continues to attract attention from industry players. Sen. Joseph Addabbo's bill S8185, which aims to expand online gaming in the state, further underscores New York's potential as a game-changer in the U.S. gambling market.

As Penn Entertainment prepares to enter the lucrative New York market, the stage is set for ESPN Bet to make its mark and vie for a significant share of the Empire State's burgeoning online sports betting industry. With regulatory approval pending, all eyes are on Penn as it navigates the regulatory landscape and sets the stage for ESPN Bet's much-anticipated debut in the nation's largest sports betting market.

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