The World Wide Leader’s sports betting arm appears headed to the Big Apple. 

Penn Entertainment, which owns and operates ESPN Bet, purchased WynnBet’s mobile sports gambling license in New York for $25 million. 

ESPN Bet will reportedly launch in the state later this year, pending approval from the New York Gaming Commission. 

“This is an important development that will bring ESPN BET to the largest regulated online sports wagering market in North America,” PENN Entertainment CEO Jay Snowden said in a press release. “Together with ESPN, we’re building a brand that is synonymous with sports betting, and operating in the New York market is key as we grow ESPN BET across the U.S.”

Since launching in July 2020 in New Jersey, WynnBet has struggled to gain a foothold with sports bettors across the country. 

In 2023, WynnBet closed online sports betting operations in Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia and announced earlier this year that it would be ceasing business in Massachusetts. 

The company still owns physical sportsbooks in Nevada and Massachusetts.

WynnBet now operates as an online sportsbook in just Arizona and Michigan, in addition to New York. 

Pending regulatory approval, New York will be the 18th state ESPN Bet is running in, joining Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

Betting on the NBA?

There are currently nine legal online sportsbooks, including WynnBet, that are conducting business in the state of New York. 

Sports betting in New York has been a massive hit since launching two years ago. 

More than $19 billion was wagered on sports in 2023, according to a press release from Governor Kathy Hochul’s office, easily the most by any state over the course of the year. 

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