Penn acquires Wynn’s New York sports betting licenses for $25 million, set to launch ESPN BET in the state


PENN Entertainment announced Tuesday that it has reached an agreement with Wynn Interactive Holdings to acquire its New York mobile sports wagering licenses, providing PENN with market access to the jurisdiction. Pending regulatory approvals, PENN will launch its online sports wagering platform ESPN BET in the Empire State in 2024, the company said in a statement.

As part of the transaction, PENN is acquiring WSI US, LLC, from Wynn Interactive Holdings for $25 million. WSI US is the entity that holds the mobile sports wagering licenses that were previously issued by the New York State Gaming Commission in 2021. Wynn Interactive is a subsidiary of Wynn Resorts.

“This is an important development that will bring ESPN BET to the largest regulated online sports wagering market in North America,” said Jay Snowden, PENN Entertainment CEO and President. “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.”

The deal comes two months after PENN announced a partnership with Quail Hollow Club and the Wells Fargo Championship to launch regulated online sports wagering in North Carolina, as the brand eyes rapid expansion in the US market.

According to a recent Bloomberg report, PENN is experiencing increased activity on its ESPN BET sports betting app compared to its previous Barstool brand. In Maryland, mobile wagers on ESPN Bet surged to $42.4 million in December, up from $16.4 million under the Barstool name a year ago. The performance positioned Penn third in the state, behind industry leaders FanDuel and DraftKings. In Iowa, Penn saw mobile sports wagers reach $18.8 million in December, more than double the $7.2 million in the previous year.

PENN signed a $2 billion deal to license Disney’s ESPN brand last year. It then launched across 17 US states in November. The partnership entails the company operating ESPN Bet, while ESPN leverages its online and broadcast platforms to promote the app. The December results followed the successful launch of ESPN Bet on Nov. 14.