ESPN Bet A Great Fit For NC Collegiate Sports Bettors

By the time ESPN Bet goes live in North Carolina, Tar Heel sports bettors will be able to place and track their bets while watching sports all through a single app.

Jay Snowden, CEO of PENN Entertainment which recently partnered with ESPN to rebrand the defunct Barstool Sportsbook app into ESPN Bet, explained what the next year and half will hold for ESPN in a fireside chat before the Bank of America Gaming and Lodging Conference.

Snowden discussed what bettors can expect when the app goes live in select markets this fall, and what features will be added by the end of 2024. His focus on the synergistic relationship between the media brand and the new sports betting app sounds promising for North Carolina bettors who will see North Carolina sports betting go live at a time when PENN and ESPN Bet will have crafted a first-class user experience.

NC bettors won’t need multiple apps to bet and watch sports

How will ESPN Bet differentiate itself from industry leaders DraftKings and FanDuel if they are truly to challenge for a podium position in the sports betting world?

That’s the question many analysts have been asking in the short time since PENN and ESPN announced their $1.5 billion partnership.

Snowden’s answer in today’s fireside chat: synergy.

“Users will be able to place their bets, get their bet slips and then move seamlessly back to the sports media side to watch games and have their bet slip travel with them,” Snowden said. “There will be no need to have two or more apps open to follow your bets and watch a game.”

For those of us used to picture-in-picture or multiple-screen (or device) setups to watch and bet on sports, this system, if executed effectively, could win over lots of new users.

A lot goes into providing a solid online sportsbook user interface, but simplicity and ease of use are where you want to be.

If ESPN Bet can design a system where bettors can stay engaged in a game and easily pull up their bet slips or place in-game wagers, they’ll separate themselves from every other provider in the market due to the vast catalogue of sporting events they broadcast on ESPN, ESPN+, ESPNU, et al.

You can find our best North Carolina bonus offerings in our comprehensive guide to NC Sports Betting Promotions.

North Carolina’s college sports fanbase an ideal fit for ESPN Bet

When it comes to college sports programming, no one beats ESPN and their premium content (ESPN+, ESPNU). North Carolina college sports fans are well aware. With 18 Division I schools, North Carolina has competitive athletics programs in all major sports on both the men’s and women’s sides.

With North Carolina’s sports betting law allowing for wagering on college sports, that means a large fanbase of college sports viewers are out there who may convert to sports bettors if they can get their needs met smoothly in one place.

NCSharp has projected that with North Carolina’s strong sports fanbase, the state could generate $6-$7 billion in total bet spending in its first year.

ESPN Bet a safe bet to launch early in North Carolina

Though no announcement has been made yet, North Carolina sports bettors can expect ESPN Bet NC to pursue a license and launch as early as possible. If the goal, as Snowden has stated, is to be one of the top online sportsbooks in the country, North Carolina, the largest market scheduled to launch in 2024, will be on its radar.

The launch window for NC sports betting opens on Jan. 8, 2024, and closes on June14. At the moment, it looks like the NC Lottery Commission is taking its time laying the regulatory groundwork, so North Carolinians may not see a launch in time for the 2024 Super Bowl. However, one legal expert begs to differ.


Image Credit: David Kohl / AP Photo

About the Author

Tyler Andrews

Tyler is the Managing Editor for, covering sports, sports law, and gambling for the Tar Heel State. He has also covered similar topics for PlayTexas, PlayGeorgia, PlayCA, PlayFlorida, PlayOhio, and PlayMA. Tyler’s current focus is North Carolina’s pathway to gaming legalization.