Sports Betting Industry News

ESPN BET Makes Solid Debut in Maryland

The Maryland sports betting report for the month of November was full of some interesting notes, but the debut of ESPN BET might have stood out the most. ESPN BET didn’t launch in the state until November 14th, but it’s clear that it has already become popular with sports bettors. 

ESPN BET posted a total sports betting handle of $33.3 million during the month of November, and that was just half of a month. Surprisingly, ESPN BET ended up being in fourth place in terms of total handle for the month, and it was even able to get past Caesars Sportsbook. 

PENN Entertainment was not seeing a ton of success with the Barstool Sportsbook, and ESPN BET accounted for over 80% of the total handle for the month. When the December sports betting report comes out for Maryland, that will give a better glimpse as to how popular this operator is. 

Industry experts believe that ESPN BET can ultimately become a challenger to the top sports betting options in the market, but that is going to take some time. It could also cost the company some money as it was dishing out a ton of promotions during the first month of operation. 

Big Promotions Offered

PENN CEO Jay Snowden announced that ESPN BET would be aggressive in trying to add some new customers, and it had a massive promotional spend in November. That wasn’t only the case in November either as this mobile app went live in 17 different states at one time. 

New customers at ESPN BET were given at least $200 in free bets when signing up for a new account, and that was only the welcome bonus. Customers have also seen a ton of free bets offered with their account as the company continues to try to add to its customer base. 

All of that seemed to pay off for ESPN BET and PENN, but eventually those bonuses will have to slow down. The total revenue for the company was just $4.2 million for the month, and that was even with posting a hold of more than 12%.

Maryland Making Moves

The state of Maryland has seen a ton of sports betting movement over the past year, but November 2023 was the biggest month on record. The total sports betting handle for the month was up over $550 million, easily shattering the previous record that was in the state. 

Sports betting in Maryland has technically been around since 2021, but mobile betting didn’t start until the final month of 2022. Online sportsbooks accounted for 96% of the total handle in November and that is a trend that should only get bigger as time moves on.

Maryland is still trying to push to become a top sports betting market in the United States, but the lifetime handle is now more than $5 billion. If recent trends continue then the state should post a total handle of more than $5 billion during the 2024 calendar year. 

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