Disclaimer: ESPN Sportsbook is not yet online. This preview is speculative and will be updated when the ESPN Sportsbook app launches.
ESPN — the biggest name in sports news — could soon launch an online sportsbook. In a podcast appearance in June 2022, ESPN president James Pataro stated that sports betting has become “a must-have” for ESPN.
In this preview, we will take a look at what features ESPN’s online sportsbook might offer. We also expect some sort of welcome bonus to lure an initial wave of players to the ESPN Sportsbook platform. Let’s dive into what to expect when this product launches.
ESPN Sportsbook new player bonus
If and when ESPN launches a sportsbook, it will almost certainly include some welcome promotions. With few exceptions, online sportsbooks operating in the US offer welcome bonuses. It’s hard to imagine ESPN competing for market share without doing so as well.
A common welcome bonus at other online sportsbooks is a risk-free first bet. With this type of bonus, if your first bet wins, you collect your payout as normal. However, if your bet loses, you receive a refund in free bets or site credits equal to your losing bet, up to a set maximum.
Of course, ESPN may also end up offering something else, like a deposit matching bonus or some type of bet and get, for instance. That is where you make a bet of a required size to unlock additional free bets.
We will have to wait and see how ESPN chooses to implement its bonus once its sportsbook launches.
ESPN Sportsbook welcome bonus and promo code for February 2023
|ESPN Sportsbook Promo Code||Not currently needed|
|ESPN Sportsbook Welcome Bonus||To be determined|
|When is ESPN Sportsbook launching?||No word yet on when or if ESPN will launch its own online sportsbook.|
|Late Updated||February 2023|
ESPN Sportsbook promotions
It will be interesting to see what ESPN offers for recurring promotions, given its expertise in marketing and brand building. Until the online sportsbook launches, though, we can only speculate. Here are a few potential types of promos we may see:
- Parlay profit boost — Receive a larger payday if your parlay wins.
- Early cash-out — Not feeling great about the remaining bets on your parlay? Cash out whatever legs have already won and end your bet early.
- Odds boosts — Get better odds than you normally would if your bet wins.
- Bracket tournaments — Enter a bracket tournament for free. Predict the outcome of each round correctly to potentially win a large amount of cash.
- Bonus money — Get free cash simply by betting on a specific game or event.
- Referral bonus — If someone you refer creates an account, makes a deposit and places a wager, you both receive a reward.
ESPN rewards program
This one will remain a mystery for a while. Will ESPN offer a player loyalty program if its sports betting site launches? Many popular books have one of these, but we cannot be sure whether ESPN will.
If ESPN does offer a loyalty program, odds are good that it will have a similar structure as what you might find at competing sportsbooks. Such programs frequently take the form of a tiered rewards system that offers increasing perks the more you bet. Potential rewards can include cash back, free or discounted merchandise and more.
Will ESPN Sportsbook be legal?
A global company such as ESPN will not take any legal chances with an online sportsbook in its name. You can expect that whenever it launches, it will be licensed by state authorities where it is available. While not every state supports legal sports betting, the list continues to grow. If ESPN Sportsbook becomes available in your state, we are confident that it will be with regulatory approval.
States where ESPN Sportsbook might be on the way
As we’ve mentioned, the ESPN online sportsbook is not available yet. However, if the time comes, ESPN will have a number of states to pick from where online sports betting is legal, with more becoming available at regular intervals.
- ESPN Sportsbook Arizona: Since launching online sports betting on September 9, 2021, Arizona has become home to nearly 20 online sportsbooks. The Arizona Department of Gaming oversees all legal sportsbooks. You cannot place prop bets on college teams or individual players in the Grand Canyon State.
- ESPN Sportsbook Colorado: Colorado legalized sports betting in 2019. The first legal bets were placed in May 2020, with DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM as the first online outlets in the state. Overseen by the Colorado Division of Gaming, there are no major sports betting restrictions in the Centennial State.
- ESPN Sportsbook Connecticut: Connecticut launched online sports betting on October 19, 2021. There are currently only three online sportsbooks in the state. DraftKings and FanDuel operate on their own, and SugarHouse operates in partnership with the state lottery. There’s a unique restriction in CT where you cannot wager on college teams in the state unless they’re participating in an intercollegiate tournament.
While ESPN would likely love to have a sportsbook here given that the company is headquartered in-state in Bristol, the low number of available licenses probably makes it a long shot.
- ESPN Sportsbook Washington, DC: Online sports betting launched in Washington, DC in 2020, when GambetDC came online. Caesars and BetMGM have come online since, and FanDuel is coming soon. GambetDC is available throughout the district, while the other sportsbooks are geofenced into much smaller locations.
ESPN has a connection to DC as it began broadcasting Scott Van Pelt’s midnight edition of SportsCenter there in 2020.
- ESPN Sportsbook Illinois: Retail sportsbooks launched in March 2020 in Illinois, while online sportsbook apps debuted in June 2020, with BetRivers being the first to market. In-person registration was required until March 2022, but you can now fully register online like in most other regulated states. Betting on Illinois-based college teams is prohibited.
- ESPN Sportsbook Indiana: Online sports betting in Indiana launched in October 2019 with DraftKings and BetRivers going live first. There are currently 13 mobile sportsbooks available in the Hoosier State. The Indiana Gaming Commission oversees sports wagering and allows betting on in-state college teams, provided all competitors are at least 18 years of age.
- ESPN Sportsbook Iowa: The first sportsbooks opened in Iowa in August 2019, just before the start of the NFL and college football seasons. In-person registration was originally required, however, that requirement ended on January 1, 2021. You can bet on Iowa-based NCAA teams, but prop betting is not allowed on them.
- ESPN Sportsbook Kansas: Kansas officially legalized online sports betting in July 2022. By August, the Kansas Attorney General’s Office had approved the Kansas Lottery’s rules and regulations, putting online sportsbooks on track to launch on September 1, 2022.
- ESPN Sportsbook Maryland: While Marylanders voted in favor of sports betting in November 2020, it’s now February 2023 and we still do not have a launch date for online sportsbooks in the state. Retail sportsbooks debuted in 2021, but it appears that we’ll have to wait until 2023 for the launch of online sportsbook apps in Maryland. With upwards of 60 online sportsbook licenses to be had, ESPN should have a good chance at getting one if it so desires.
- ESPN Sportsbook Michigan: Michigan legalized online sports betting in December 2019, with retail sportsbooks debuting in March 2020 and online books launching in January 2021. The Michigan Gaming Control Board oversees betting in the state and allows wagering on in-state pro and college teams. Generally, betting on entertainment-related events is prohibited, but the MGCB allows Oscars wagering.
- ESPN Sportsbook New Jersey: Online sports betting debuted in the Garden State in June 2018, shortly after the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was overturned. The first online sportsbooks in the state were BetRivers, BetMGM, and DraftKings. New Jersey had its first month with a $1 billion handle in September 2021.
- ESPN Sportsbook New York: Online sports betting launched in January 2022 when FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars, and BetRivers went live in New York. Since then, PointsBet, BetMGM, BallyBet, WynnBET and Resorts World Bet have come online in NY.
ESPN built a studio in New York in 2018, overlooking the East River and Brooklyn Bridge. Currently, shows such as Get Up!, First Take, and NBA Countdown are filmed at the 21,000-square-foot site. There’s a separate New York studio for NFL purposes, which opened in 2020.
- ESPN Sportsbook Ohio: Ohio online sportsbooks are scheduled to launch on January 1, 2023. That will be over a year after the Ohio Legislature passed sports betting bill H.B. 29 in December 2021. Expect Ohio to quickly become one of the top sports betting states in the US, with multiple NFL and MLB teams, an NBA, NHL, and MLB team, and a plethora of college teams, including the Ohio State Buckeyes.
- ESPN Sportsbook Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania mobile sportsbooks launched in May 2019 when SugarHouse came online. A few months later in August, the state recorded its first $100 million handle month. The current monthly handle record in Pennsylvania is $794 million in January 2022. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is in charge of wagering in the state and allows betting on in-state college teams.
- ESPN Sportsbook Tennessee: The first Tennessee online sportsbooks debuted in November 2020. BetMGM, FanDuel, DraftKings, and the local Action 24/7 were the first to come online. As of August 2022, there were nine sports betting apps in the Volunteer State. Retail sportsbooks are prohibited at this time, as is prop betting on college players.
- ESPN Sportsbook Virginia: FanDuel was the first sportsbook to launch in January 2021 in Virginia. There are over a dozen mobile sportsbook apps available in Old Dominion, with more likely on the way, although there is a limit of 18 sportsbook licenses. Betting on Virginia NCAA teams is not allowed in the state. There are not any retail sportsbooks currently, but that is likely to change in the future with retail casinos under construction and plans to open retail sportsbooks at those locations.
ESPN Sportsbook eligibility requirements
Until ESPN launches its book, we won’t know what types of limitations it may place on players. We do know, though, that ESPN is going to want to make its product available to as many eligible bettors as it can while still following all relevant regulations.
For instance, the age at which you can bet on sports online will depend on the law in your particular state. Most states set the minimum age at 21, but a few allow those 18 and older to bet. You will also need to be within a state that allows online sports betting. You won’t need to live there, necessarily, but you will have to be inside the state lines.
There may be other state-specific restrictions, as well. For instance, some states will not permit betting on games involving in-state college teams.
What will ESPN Sportsbook’s top features be?
Of course, the sportsbook has not yet launched, so we aren’t able to know exactly what features it might be sporting. But given ESPN’s reputation and reach, high expectations are reasonable:
- Promos: We expect to see lots of betting promos.
- Solid betting software: This might be the most important factor. Players want a smooth experience with a modern feel. We hope ESPN will make the user experience a priority.
- Banking options: Sports bettors who play online want to use familiar and comfortable payment forms. We hope ESPN’s sportsbook has diverse payment and withdrawal options.
How to sign up for an account at ESPN Sportsbook
Players will likely need to create their new account via the ESPN sportsbook webpage or by installing the app on their phone or tablet. You will then have to give some identifying info like your full name, residential address and your Social Security number so ESPN can confirm your details.
How you can bet at ESPN
In all likelihood, ESPN will segment the wagers based on the sport. So, if you are the type who only bets during the NFL season or during March Madness, you’ll potentially find a variety of interesting bets. This also makes multi-sport parlays easy to build.
Regarding the types of wagers that will probably appear on the ESPN Sportsbook, you’ll almost certainly find all the standard options:
- Moneylines — The stereotypical sports bet. Will your team lose or win?
- Spreads — Place a wager that incorporates the margin of victory.
- Parlays — Wager on several different events all happening. High risk, high reward.
- Totals — Bet if the final combined score will be over or under a set number.
- Props — Bet on smaller aspects within a game, like player statistics or the length of the game.
- Futures — Wagers that you can place early on that pay once the season has concluded.
- Live bets — Place your bets once the game has begun. Follow odds that update with what’s happening in the game.
What sports can you bet on at ESPN?
We can’t be sure exactly what sports will be available right if the sportsbook launches, but we anticipate ESPN to feature a little bit of a lot eventually. In addition to all major professional sports leagues, we may also see options for smaller sports, potentially including things like cycling, motocross, handball and Formula One.
ESPN banking options
Here are the main banking options that major books tend to offer and that we may see at an ESPN online sportsbook:
- Visa/Mastercard credit/debit
- ACH bank transfer
- Check by mail (withdrawals only)
- Cash at the cage of a partner casino
While ESPN likely won’t charge any fees for deposits and withdrawals, your chosen banking method might. The minimum amount for deposits and withdrawals could be around $5 or $10. On the subject of withdrawals, expect to wait a few days for your payout so ESPN can confirm and verify the transaction. This is standard practice at legal online sportsbooks.
How to get help at ESPN Sportsbook
ESPN is of course already familiar with customer service. The first thing you’ll tend to see when looking for help at an online sportsbook is an FAQ/help page. This is often the first stop for players looking for assistance.
Next, a live chat feature is good for players who want to get a resolution fast without taking the time to make a phone call. As a last option, we could also see a dedicated email address and customer support phone number from ESPN.
ESPN Sportsbook FAQ
What is the ESPN Sportsbook welcome bonus for February 2023?
ESPN has yet to launch its online sportsbook, so it’s unclear at the moment what it may offer for bonuses, or whether you will require and ESPN Sportsbook bonus code to activate any offer.
In which states is ESPN Sportsbook available?
An ESPN Sportsbook likely would launch in regulated states on a rolling basis as it acquires licenses. If the company chooses to purchase an existing sportsbook, those licenses might already be in place, leading to faster availability.
How old will you have to be to bet at ESPN?
It depends on the state from which you are betting. Most states set the minimum sports betting age at 21, but a few have it at 18.
Does ESPN let you cash out bets early?
Yes, ESPN will almost certainly offer bettors options to cash out some bets early, either to lock in a smaller win or to cut your losses.
Who will own the ESPN Sportsbook?
ESPN is a sports powerhouse under the ownership of Walt Disney and Hearst Communications.
Will ESPN Sportsbook be safe?
Yes. As mentioned, ESPN is mostly owned by Disney, so you can feel secure knowing that it will take steps to ensure the legitimacy and safety of all its products, including its sportsbook.
The ESPN story
ESPN began as the brainchild of Bill Rasmussen. He envisioned a global sports broadcasting network and set up shop in Connecticut in 1978. The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network quickly caught fire and became the global destination for all types of sports. Today, ESPN’s TV channels reach over 76 million households in the United States alone.