Bettors in the Buckeye State are already anticipating the launch of ESPN Bet Ohio, which has a projected opening of fall 2023 — likely prior to Thanksgiving. While we know very little about the sportsbook, which is a rebrand of Barstool Sportsbook, it's possible this could be the biggest news in the Ohio sports betting market all year. Read on to find out everything you need to know about one of the soon-to-be giants of the sportsbook industry.
Since ESPN Bet hasn’t launched yet, it’s still too early to know exactly what Ohio sportsbook promos and welcome offers we will see from the sportsbook. ESPN Bet Ohio is expected to go live this fall. The brand new sportsbook will initially launch as a rebrand of Barstool Sportsbook, but we expect ESPN’s influence to change the book in new and exciting ways.
We still don’t know exactly what promotions to expect from ESPN Bet when it launches in Ohio later this fall. However, we can reasonably expect the sportsbook to have welcome offers such as second-chance first bets, deposit matches, or “bet & get” offers that are exclusively available for new users. Additionally, offers for ongoing users like odds boosts and bonus bets for qualifying wagers or deposits could be on the table.
ESPN has exclusive rights to Monday Night Football. When the sportsbook launches, we expect the operator to utilize this deal to great effect. Bettors are likely to see plenty of unique markets, prop bets, odds boosts, and much more. This has the potential to make Monday Night Football – already one of the most fun events in football – even better. Stay tuned for updates on these offers.
A “bet & get” sportsbook promotion is a simple offer where a qualifying wager (the “bet”) automatically gives you a reward (the “get”). The reward usually comes in the form of bonus bet credits, generally in a predetermined amount. Bet & get promotions are a popular type of welcome offer used by sportsbooks to attract and reward new users. For example, you might see a sportsbook with an offer such as “Bet $5, Get $200.” This attractive welcome offer will reward you with $200 in bonus bet credits if you open an account with the sportsbook, deposit money, and place a bet of $5 or more. ESPN Bet may offer some form of bet & get promos to its new and/or existing users.
ESPN is different from other sportsbooks in that it is already established as a media giant in the sports world. We could see the brand leverage this position to offer giveaways as a form of promotion through ESPN Bet. For example, it is possible that ESPN Bet includes a welcome offer with a giveaway for a few months or a year of free access to the ESPN+ streaming service, where thousands of sporting events can be watched live or on recording. Giveaways like these are just one example of how ESPN Bet might use its position to provide unique offerings to its users.
A deposit match is a type of sportsbook promotion that is usually offered as a welcome bonus. These promos will match your initial deposit with the sportsbook, up to a certain amount, with bonus bet credits. For example, you might see a deposit match promo with a value of up to $1,000. This means that when you sign up with the sportsbook and use this promotion, your first deposit will be matched by the sportsbook to give you an equal amount of money in the form of bonus bets, up to a value of $1,000. Bonus bets are credits you can use to wager on the sportsbook. If your bets placed with bonus bets win, you can usually withdraw your winnings like normal money. Some promotions have fine print that include “playthrough requirements” which say how many times you must wager your bonus bets and win before you can withdraw the funds.
An odds boost is a type of promotion often offered by sportsbooks that can add value to certain bets you place. An odds boost works by increasing the odds on qualifying bets, effectively increasing the amount of money you can win on that bet while wagering the same amount. Odds boosts don’t make your bet more likely to win, they just increase profits on winning bets. Odds boosts can be a super straightforward way to add value to the bets you place, but you should never compromise on placing smart bets just to qualify for an odds boost promotion.
Some sportsbook bonuses are targeted at attracting new users to the platform, while others are meant to add value to existing customers’ experience so that they continue to use the platform. Reload bonuses are a great example of the latter. These are very similar to deposit match promos, only they give a reward for existing users who “reload,” or deposit more funds into their sportsbook account. We could see ESPN Bet use this type of promotion to try to hold onto new users who are initially excited about the new sportsbook.
ESPN Bet Ohio is a new sportsbook set to launch later this year. It is a rebrand of Barstool Sportsbook Ohio, a property of PENN Entertainment. The Barstool brand was recently sold back to founder Dave Portnoy, who plans to move away from the sports betting scene and back to making the Barstool brand a content-only platform.
PENN Entertainment reached an agreement with ESPN to use the ESPN Bet trademark for the next decade, making this a massive rebrand and overhaul.
“This transformative, exclusive agreement with ESPN marks another major milestone in PENN’s evolution from a pure-play U.S. regional gaming operator to a North American entertainment leader,” said Jay Snowden, PENN CEO and president. “ESPN Bet will be deeply integrated with ESPN’s broad editorial, content, digital and linear product, and sports programming ecosystem.”
Not yet, but it will be by the end of the year. PENN Entertainment plans to use the existing Barstool license to launch ESPN Bet, so it should be a seamless transition for the company. What this means is that ESPN Bet Sportsbook in Ohio will be legal and licensed by the Ohio Casino Control Commission.
The current plan is for ESPN Bet to go live during the fall of 2023, possibly prior to Thanksgiving (Nov. 23).
ESPN Bet Ohio has not made any official announcements of offering promos to new users. However, traditionally, when a sportsbook, such as BetMGM Ohio, goes live, they offer an assortment of promotions to new users.
More than likely the ESPN Bet Ohio launch promos will be available for new users. Whether this will include current Barstool bettors is unknown. We hope that everyone will get the opportunity for maximum interest!
We can expect ESPN Bet to offer some excellent features, including popular options like same game parlays, early cash out, and odds boosts. While it is still unclear exactly what features we can expect at ESPN Bet, we do know that this will be a major sportsbook that will be looking to compete with other top brands, so we are likely to see an array of features to make the book competitive.
Parlay bets are wagers that combine two or more individual bets into a single, larger, bet with higher odds. The advantage of parlay betting is that you can build bets with very high odds, and if every individual bet, or “leg” of your parlay hits, you can win a significant amount of money without a very large initial wager. Same game parlays take the parlay concept and allow you to build a parlay bet with individual legs that all come from the same game. This can make watching your favorite sporting events more exciting, all while giving you the opportunity to win big. We’d expect ESPN Bet to have same game parlays as one of their betting options once they launch.
Early cash out is a great sportsbook feature that lets you get “out” of a bet before it has actually closed. This can have the advantage of allowing you to cut your losses on a bet that has become more likely to lose, or securing certain winnings on a bet that has become more likely to win. For example, let’s say you took the moneyline on the Browns to beat the Bengals this Sunday. If the Browns are winning by 7 late in the third quarter against the Bengals, you might see an option to cash out early, securing a certain profit on your bet but not quite the profit you could make if the Browns hold on and win the game. Early cash out doesn’t really have any drawbacks—it just gives you, as the bettor, more control over your wager.
As a major brand name and a company looking to immediately make an impact in the sports betting industry, we expect ESPN Bet to check the major boxes that people are looking for in an online sportsbook. One critical feature of any great book is to make it easy to deposit and withdraw money from your sportsbook account. Most online sportsbook operators include multiple banking options, such as credit and debit cards, online banking transfers, and seamless integration with third-party apps like PayPal or Venmo. Whatever the specific banking options available are, we expect ESPN Bet to make banking with them fast, easy, and secure.
ESPN Bet will have a mobile app available for both iOS and Android users in the state. Ohio sportsbook apps are usually a streamlined version of their desktop counterparts, making it very fast and easy to place bets while on the go.
We still don’t have an exact date nailed down for the ESPN Bet launch in Ohio, but we do expect a launch before the end of 2023. The book could launch before or shortly after Thanksgiving, and will likely include both an app and a desktop website version of the sportsbook. ESPN Bet should launch with some promotional offers immediately available, and more are expected to roll out in the coming months as the sportsbook gets established.
The ESPN Bet platform will be birthed out of a partnership between PENN Entertainment, which has owned and operated Barstool Sportsbook in recent years, and ESPN. Thanks to the common denominator of PENN Entertainment, we do expect ESPN Bet to share a lot in common with Barstool Sportsbook. This isn’t a bad thing, as Barstool has been a highly successful and well-regarded sports betting platform. However, we also expect ESPN to take the sportsbook in new directions, potentially using their existing media presence to create a betting experience that is different from what is currently offered by other operators in the U.S. market.
ESPN Bet will be run by PENN Entertainment’s proprietary gaming software, called the PENN Interactive Gaming Platform. The software has been very successful in its early months with Barstool sportsbook, offering great features like in-game betting, improved cash out options, and streamlined navigation. ESPN’s partnership with PENN will eventually yield a sportsbook app that has ESPN branding and potential integration of unique ESPN offerings like the possibility of ESPN streaming services in-app. The Barstool App has great ratings on the Apple App Store and Google Play, signaling that PENN’s software is working well.
ESPN Bet Sportsbook in Ohio has said they will offer an online casino platform in markets where online casinos are legal. The platform will be branded with Hollywood Casino branding and feature hundreds of slots, tables, live games and more. Hollywood Casino is a nationally recognized brand operated by PENN Entertainment. Online casinos in Ohio are not legal; meaning, you won't have access to this platform.
Ohio's strong sports market means that the state will almost certainly welcome ESPN Bet Ohio with open arms. Bettors will have a lot to look forward to, including some exciting features, promotions and more. We will continue updating our review of ESPN Bet Ohio to ensure you have the latest insights on the newest sports betting brand.
Penn Entertainment, also known as PENN, announced on Aug. 8, 2023, that it had bought media, marketing and branding rights to ESPN, majority owned by Disney. The agreement was valued at $2 billion and will include the launch of ESPN Bet in 16 states, including Ohio.
Not yet. PENN Entertainment's Barstool Sportsbook plans to rebrand as ESPN Bet with a projected fall 2023 launch. PENN will be able to use Barstool's current license in Ohio, meaning a quick and seamless transition in the next few months.
There is no bonus code for ESPN Bet just yet. It's possible the soon-to-launch brand will use similar promos as Barstool Sportsbook, including a $1,000 deposit match, but with ESPN in the fold, there could be something different on the way.
ESPN Bet Ohio is expected to launch sometime between October and November of 2023.
Adam Wernham has over eight years of professional copywriting experience. Growing up in the Bay Area, Adam developed strong ties to local teams including the Giants, Warriors, and 49ers. His passion for sports and writing make him a strong voice on all things sports betting and a great asset to the BetOhio staff.
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