The app topped the download charts for iOS, both in the sports category and overall, according to data.ai. While the app is operating in 17 states across the US, it can still be downloaded, but not used, in other jurisdictions.
According to data from Citizens JMP Securities, ESPN BET also set a record for downloads of a sports betting app in the first two days following its launch. This initial success is a positive indicator for Penn Entertainment and ESPN BET, although it does not guarantee long-term customer loyalty.
The initial success of ESPN BET can be partially attributed to aggressive promotional strategies, including up to $200 bonuses for new users and additional promotions. These offers may have boosted the number of downloads, but user retention after the end of the promotion remains uncertain.
The app replaced Penn Entertainment's Barstool Sportsbook, with existing users needing to download the new app. However, the interface remains essentially the same, and existing accounts were transferred to the new system.
ESPN has recently unveiled sports betting guidelines for employees at the company. The guidelines were published to define "prohibited betting activities clearly and serve as a reference to ensure compliance." The rules attempt to assuage concerns about collaboration between editorial and betting teams.
The company notes that the rules enable ESPN to terminate contracts if any employee violates the terms. It also said that no employee covering or working on the business side with any sports league will be permitted to wager with that league.