MA Sports Betting Board Tackles ESPN Bet Transition

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MA sports betting

Penn Entertainment does not need to reapply for an MA sports betting license after rebranding from Barstool Sportsbook to ESPN Bet, state regulators determined Thursday

Penn’s goal is for its online rebranding from Barstool to ESPN Bet to occur by November

“We want time to review the ESPN agreement, that’s part of our analysis,” IEB director Loretta Lillios said. “There are responsible gaming and other compliance issues that are relevant. We’ve requested documents, and they’re forthcoming.

“We’ve been informed by Penn that it will not be touching anything on the platform, which is GLI certified. It’s really a change of the branding alone.” 

MA sports betting update from IEB

The Investigations and Enforcement Bureau will return to state regulators with a Massachusetts sports betting update on the matter in a couple weeks.

The MA Gaming Commission is also expected to hear from Penn in September

“I was not thinking that you needed a new application because they have their temporary license already,” Lillios said. “But we’re doing updates all the time, these companies are constantly evolving and changing. This is a big one. I expected that you would want to hear from the company.”

MA sports betting orders for Barstool

During its suitability review, Barstool agreed to a pair of conditions

“I’m not sure about the relevance of that any more, but we are confirming that,” Lillios said. “(Barstool) will not be promoting Penn if they do have them, and Penn will not be involved.”

It remains to be seeb if the same (or similar) condition is attached should ESPN have a college football show in the Commonwealth. 

‘Can’t Lose Parlay’ matter still TBD

Penn had previously faced an adjudicatory hearing in Massachusetts regarding the so-called “Can’t Lose Parlay.” 

An attorney representing Penn argued that the promotion, which has been taken down, did not violate MA sports betting regulations. 

State regulators have yet to release the results of that hearing. 

In-person book also changing name

Penn’s in-person sportsbook at Plainridge Park Casino will also get a name change. 

State regulators will hear from PPC shortly on the matter. 

“PPC hasn’t decided name, or at least it’s not public yet, but it will not be a Barstool brand,” Lillios said.