Last week saw the launch of the newly rebranded ESPN Bet, a sports gaming app owned by Penn Entertainment. This app was introduced in 17 US states, including important markets like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, and Michigan. This move followed a $1.5 billion deal between Penn Entertainment and ESPN, giving the gaming company the rights to use the ESPN name for their sports gambling app for the next decade.
The debut of ESPN Bet had an immediate positive impact on the stock of Penn Entertainment. The Bank of America upgraded Penn’s stock from neutral to buy, citing the strong launch of ESPN Bet across the country. Shaun Kelley, an analyst for Bank of America, noted that the sports gambling app is quickly gaining popularity and has been among the top apps on the Apple store since its launch. With 865,000 downloads and a 4.8 rating on the App Store, ESPN Bet has made a strong impression in the market.
As a result of the successful launch of ESPN Bet, the price target for Penn’s stock increased from $27 to $30, and the stock itself was more than 7% higher. Kelley highlighted the app’s stronger-than-expected performance in initial downloads and disciplined promotional offers. He also pointed out the stability of Penn’s core gaming business in the third quarter.
Despite facing fierce competition from established sportsbooks like DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars, ESPN Bet aims to provide a comprehensive experience for sports fans and bettors. In addition to betting options, the app offers highlights, scores, and stories, engaging new customers and setting itself apart from the competition.