The National Hockey League (NHL) has recently announced that ESPN Bet and theScore are its newest official sports betting partners. The two sports betting firms have entered into marketing deals that provide them with intellectual property rights, as well as media and marketing integrations across NHL programming.
ESPN Bet, which went live on November 14 in 17 states, is the rebranded Barstool Sportsbook product of Penn Entertainment. The sportsbook has signed a $1.5 billion, 10-year deal with ESPN to use the sports media brand in its sports betting business.
Jason Jazayeri, the NHL’s vice president of business development, expressed excitement about partnering with ESPN Bet, stating that the collaboration is a testament to the value of the NHL’s partnership with ESPN and The Walt Disney Company.
In a bid to expand its market share, ESPN Bet has joined DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM as an official sports betting partner of the NHL. The sportsbook is aiming to compete with industry leaders DraftKings and FanDuel, which currently dominate 75% of the sports betting market in the US.
While hockey betting is not as popular as other sports such as football, basketball, and baseball, Penn officials believe that the partnership with the NHL will help ESPN Bet and theScore reach more sports bettors. According to Aubrey Levy, Penn Interactive’s senior vice president of marketing and content, becoming an official partner will allow the two sportsbooks to engage hockey fans and develop integrations across NHL programming.
However, ESPN Bet has faced criticism from early bettors, with claims that the sportsbook is not honoring pushes in parlays. A bettor named Kelce Johnson shared his experience on Twitter, stating that ESPN Bet voided his five-leg parlay after one of his bets pushed while the others won.
This issue has resulted in significant backlash from bettors, with Johnson’s tweet garnering over 3.5 million views. ESPN Bet’s decision to void the entire parlay after a single push has raised concerns among users, with many expressing dissatisfaction with the sportsbook’s approach.
This development comes as ESPN Bet and theScore aim to solidify their presence in the sports betting market, leveraging their partnerships with the NHL to attract more bettors and expand their reach in the industry.