In search of greener pastures, PENN Entertainment left its partnership with Barstool Sports in August 2023, forming a new one with ESPN and re-branding the platform as ESPN Bet Sportsbook. Through this industry-shaking move, ESPN gave PENN an identity with the biggest name brand in sports media overnight.
Today, we are going to look at the ESPN Bet Sportsbook that North Carolina will soon be offering, and what bettors there can expect to see once sports betting launches statewide.
What is ESPN Bet?
ESPN Bet is the rebranding of PENN Entertainment’s sportsbooks operation, thanks to a partnership with the sports media behemoth. The new partnership means the end of PENN’s association and partial ownership of Barstool Sports, with their founder Dave Portnoy resuming control of the company.
With Barstool in their rearview, PENN inked a 10-year deal with ESPN worth upwards of $2 billion. In the deal, PENN will hand over $1.5 billion in cash over the next 10 years, with $500 million coming in the form of PENN stock.
The deal is considered to be inclusive of all of ESPN’s assets and talent, as PENN will be the exclusive betting platform that is mentioned on-air.
Is ESPN Bet Sportsbook live in North Carolina?
No, ESPN Bet Sportsbook is not yet live in North Carolina, as online sports betting in North Carolina is not yet live. While ESPN Bet has now fully rolled out with the first wagers accepted on November 14, 2023, the site still has some bureaucratic red tape to navigate before preparing for NC's betting launch.
Unfortunately for North Carolina sports bettors, commercial online sports betting isn’t set for rollout until early 2024, at which time companies like PENN can begin the licensing process. The state had initially targeted a January 8 launch date, though recent reports have confirmed things won't be ready by that time; no firm date has been announced yet.
Registering an account at ESPN Bet in North Carolina and claiming their bonus
It’s likely only a matter of time before ESPN Bet is available in North Carolina, and you’ll want to be prepared to get involved. Below are the few steps needed to get signed up and in on the action at the upcoming NC sportsbook.