Gambling

First ESPN Bet Sportsbook Opens At Greektown Casino In Detroit

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Posted on: April 25, 2024, 10:49h. 

Last updated on: April 25, 2024, 10:53h.

The first retail sportsbook bearing the ESPN Bet name opened Wednesday at Penn Entertainment’s Hollywood Casino at Greektown in downtown Detroit.

Detroit casino revenue 2023 GGR
Hollywood Casino at Greektown in Detroit. The first ESPN Bet sportsbook opened there on April 24. (Image: Penn Entertainment)

Penn has been using the ESPN brand on its mobile sports wagering platform since last November after inking a 10-year, $1.5 billion deal with Walt Disney last August. Michigan is one of the 18 states in which ESPN Bet is available.

The ESPN BET sportsbook and restaurant offers guests approximately 4,500 square-feet of betting and dining space, with high-tech wagering kiosks, big-screen TVs, a 30’ video wall for the ultimate sports viewing experience and elevated bar food and drink. The restaurant is one of the many premium dining options available throughout Hollywood Casino at Greektown,” according to a statement issued by Connecticut-based ESPN.

Prior to Penn reaching an agreement with the sports network, the casino operator’s brick-and-mortar sportsbooks bore the Barstool Sports name.

More ESPN Bet Sportsbooks Could Be in the Works

Neither ESPN nor Penn commented on when another retail sportsbook bearing the sports media giant’s name could appear at one of the operator’s regional casinos, but it’s a strong possibility that’s in the works.

Including Hollywood Casino at Greektown, Penn runs 43 gaming venues in 20 states, the bulk of which permit mobile or retail sports wagering or both. That would be one avenue through which Penn could potentially capitalize on its agreement with ESPN.

While retail sportsbooks are often money-losers or small profit generators for casino operators, the combination of the ESPN brand and Detroit’s enthusiasm for sports could prove potent at Greektown. Penn acquired the gaming venue from JACK Entertainment for $300 million nearly five years ago.

The Hollywood Casino at Greektown has more than 100,000 square feet of dining, entertainment, and gaming space and 400 guestrooms.

Could Be Good Timing for Greektown Sportsbook

The timing of the debut of the ESPN Bet sportsbook at the Greektown casino could prove beneficial to the operator because Detroit is hosting the NFL Draft, whose first round kicks off on Thursday night. That event runs through Saturday and is expected to bring an influx of visitors to the city, potentially delivering more traffic to local casinos.

ESPN has had a prominent presence at the Hollywood Casino this week and that’s slated to continue through the weekend.

“With the NFL Draft taking place less than a mile from the property, Hollywood Casino at Greektown is hosting a variety of ESPN programming this week, including the First Draft podcast with Field Yates, Domonique Foxworth, Mina Kimes, and Matt Miller on Wednesday night,” the network added in the press release. “On Thursday and Friday, ESPN Radio will broadcast the Unsportsmanlike morning show with Evan Cohen, Chris Canty, and Michelle Smallmon, and the Greeny Show. Additionally, ESPN BET Live, the daily sports betting show on ESPN2, will be live from the ESPN BET sportsbook on Thursday and Friday. ESPN talent will also conduct live SportsCenter hits from the property during the week.”

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