Detroit’s Hollywood Casino the First to Host an ESPN Bet Sportsbook

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PENN Entertainment has announced a momentous development for its ESPN BET venture. The first physical ESPN BET sportsbook will open its doors in April at the Hollywood Casino in Detroit's Greektown district.

From Digital To Physical

This brick-and-mortar venue, currently known as "The Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino," boasts an impressive setup with 40 betting kiosks, 25 high-definition TVs and a massive 30-foot video wall. It marks a significant shift for ESPN BET, which debuted as a digital platform just last November.

Related: ESPN Bet to Expand into New York Following Wynn Interactive Holdings Deal

With this Detroit location, PENN Entertainment bridges the gap between the online realm and the physical world, solidifying its commitment to the ESPN BET brand. Notably, the company already operates 32 retail sportsbooks across the US, and plans to host events featuring ESPN regional radio talent at various locations.

Detroit appears to be a strategic choice for the inaugural ESPN BET sportsbook. Greektown Casino was the top performer among Detroit's casinos in terms of retail sportsbook handle in 2023, attracting a significant volume of bets. PENN Entertainment is undoubtedly aware of this potential, aiming to capitalize on the established interest in sports betting within the city.

CEO Jay Snowden expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership, acknowledging the market-leading reputation of the Hollywood Casino at Greektown and emphasizing the collaborative effort with ESPN to expand the reach of the ESPN BET brand. He envisioned creating unique experiences that seamlessly blend online and physical aspects of sports betting across various PENN properties.

Finding Its Place in the Market

While the digital platform has seen promising initial traction with over one million sign-ups in just six weeks, PENN recently reported a net loss due to promotional play. However, the company also highlighted the positive impact on its digital user base, which expanded nearly 50% thanks to the new platform.

PENN's ambitions extend beyond Detroit. Just last week, the company secured WynnBET's New York sports betting license, gaining entry into the lucrative New York market, previously inaccessible to them. The launch of ESPN BET in New York, pending regulatory approval, is anticipated for later this year.

Since its launch, ESPN BET has consistently held the third position in online sports betting, surpassing established competitors like BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook. This early success bodes well for the future of the brand, particularly as it ventures into the physical realm with the Detroit sportsbook.

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