Barstool Sportsbook NJ has been a staple of the online betting industry in New Jersey for quite some time now. According to a recent press release, New Jersey gamblers may find themselves using an ESPN-branded online casino after this fall, as Penn Entertainment announced that they will be entering a 10-year deal with the company. This exclusive U.S. agreement has already been greenlit, although it shouldn’t come off as too much of a surprise.
There have been rumors and speculations regarding ESPN’s entanglement with the sports betting industry for quite some time now. These behind-the-scenes talks persisted since the PASPA fell in 2018. A lot of people wondered back then whether Disney’s ESPN would be willing to try their hand at the online gambling scene.
As it turns out, they want to do more than just test the waters out. ESPN is here to stay, and they will be taking over the empty seat left by Barstool Sportsbook in New Jersey. Jimmy Pitaro, the Chairman of ESPN, stated in the press release that this was the right call to make:
“After meeting with Jay and the Penn team, it was clear that they were the right long-term strategic partner to build ESPN Bet into a leading U.S. sports betting platform.”Jimmy Pitaro, the Chairman of ESPN
What’s interesting to note here is that Penn does not own any on-site casinos in NJ. So, to clear up a space for ESPN to take over, they decided to give them Barstool Sportsbook’s seat instead. Jay Snowden, the Chief Executive Officer and President of PENN stated the following:
“In connection with the transaction, we are selling Barstool back to founder David Portnoy.”Jay Snowden, the Chief Executive Officer and President of Penn
This signals the end of an era for New Jersey gamblers as Barstool Sportsbook will be rebranded into ESPN Bet. At the moment, the Garden State still features both the Barstool sports book and their online casino. However, this will change soon enough as the iGaming website will change its name to the Hollywood Casino name.
Many people are not happy with this change as the Barstool Casino app has been around since August 2021. On it, players could get access to more than 175 online casino games, including the likes of online poker, online roulette, and online slots. It worked based on the Freehold Raceway’s sports wagering license, which is owned by Penn and Greenwood Racing & Entertainment (Parx Casino).
Despite all this negative backlash, Jay Snowden stated that he has no intention of backing out of the deal. Instead, he declared that this choice will help PENN reach new a new audience of over 105 million monthly unique digital users.
To prove that there is no bad blood between the companies, Snowden thanked the people behind Barstool for their efforts. He also claimed that this departure is not going to hurt Barstool’s founder David Portnoy in the slightest. Instead, Barstool would now have the chance to return to its roots and provide its players with more authentic content.
With ESPN Bet officially taking over Barstool Sportsbook NJ’s spot, there is a lot of uncertainty amiss. While we can’t predict the future, we believe that with Penn Entertainment backing them up, ESPN Bet is in good hands. Considering the untapped potential of this deal, we can safely say that things are looking brighter than ever.
Even though there are a lot of people against this change, only time will tell what ramifications this will cause in the future. For now, we bid Barstool Sportsbook NJ farewell and we are looking forward to what ESPN Bet has to offer.