Penn Entertainment, which owns the service, signed a $1.5 billion deal with ESPN for 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.
About 20.5 million American adults plan to bet a total of $1.8 billion on the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, according to a survey by the American Gaming Association, a gambling industry trade group. Of those, 48% intend to place their bets online and 29% said they plan to bet casually with friends. Meanwhile, 23% plan to bet at a physical casino sportsbook and 20% plan to place a bet with a bookie.
With more than 4.6 million votes counted, a measure largely supported by gaming companies that would have allowed adults to wager on mobile devices and online had only 16% support. And a proposition that would have legalized sports gambling at tribal casinos and horse tracks had less than 30% support.
Gambling operators have been pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the pursuit of new customers as more states have adopted online sports betting. Now, those companies are under pressure to rein in spending because they have said they plan to turn a profit sometime next year. The college football and NFL seasons — a prime time to advertise and entice more people to gamble — will be a balancing act on the path to profitability for companies such as FanDuel Group, DraftKings and BetMGM, the market leaders. Other competitors also are scrutinizing their bottom lines.
“The XFL has a good chance to become a small, viable opportunity for clients based on its WWE ownership backing,” says Adam Schwartz of Horizon Media. “I don’t think the XFL will ever become the NFL, but if the product is strong, it will get viewers to watch and, perhaps, to gamble on the games [and] that will draw more viewer interest.”
Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Corp. launched the Fox Bet sports betting platform on Monday, doing what no other major media company has done in North America: becoming the face of a sports gambling platform.
A year after the United States Supreme Court struck down a 26-year-old federal law that prohibited sports betting, many broadcasters are still hedging their bets on where television fits into the picture. However, Sinclair Broadcast Group has gone all in. And Sinclair isn’t the only player at the table.