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PENN Entertainment Debuts Its First Physical ESPN Bet Sportsbook in Detroit

Jessica Aletor
Written by Jessica Aletor
May 2, 2024
PENN Entertainment Debuts Its First Physical ESPN Bet Sportsbook in Detroit

This year’s NFL Draft weekend brought an unprecedented buzz to the city of Detroit. But just before the off-season event took place, PENN Entertainment made sure to take full advantage of its auspicious timing and location. On Wednesday, April 24—a day before the draft kicked off—the operator unveiled its first ever ESPN Bet retail sportsbook in Detroit.

Located in the upper floor of Hollywood Casino at Greektown, the ESPN Bet brick-and-mortar sportsbook was just about a mile away from the location of the 2024 NFL Draft. And with the Draft predicted to attract over 400,000 visitors to Detroit, PENN hoped to strategically steer some of that sports tourist population to its new sportsbook.

“This is an exciting week to debut PENN’s first physical ESPN BET sportsbook as the city of Detroit hosts the NFL Draft and its festivities,” John Drake, Hollywood Casino at Greektown General Manager said in a press release.

“Bringing ESPN BET to Hollywood Greektown combines PENN’s premier sports media and sports betting offerings to create an amazing atmosphere for fans to watch and bet on sports. To celebrate the opening, we’re thrilled to host ESPN talent and programming at our property throughout the week.”

ESPN Bet Branded Sportsbook Poised to Deliver an Exclusive Sports Betting and Dining Experience

Back in November, ESPN Bet first debuted its online sports betting service, with a promise to add a physical location soon thereafter. This newly launched retail sportsbook is a 4,500-square-foot betting and restaurant space within Hollywood Casino’s resort property spanning 100,000 square feet of gaming area.

According to a press release by PENN Entertainment, the sportsbook features high-tech digital wagering kiosks, a 30’ video wall to deliver top-class sports viewing and multiple big-screen TVs. At the property’s lower level is Hollywood Casino’s Rock Bar which now includes an ESPN Bet branded sports viewing area.

The restaurant space is perhaps one of the foremost attractions of the retail sportsbook. Visitors can enjoy an assortment of unique food offerings ranging from burgers to nachos, Detroit-style pizza and different chicken wings and sauce options. From its elevated bar menu are wines, signature cocktails and a variety of beer alternatives.

ESPN Bet is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Mondays to Thursdays and from 11 a.m. till midnight on Friday. The sportsbook is open slightly earlier on weekends, between 10 a.m. to midnight on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays.

Flurry of Events Mark the Opening Week of Detroit’s ESPN Bet Detroit Sportsbook

As anticipated, the ESPN Bet sportsbook had a busy first week, coupled with the added pressure of the NFL Draft. On Thursday, April 25 and Friday, April 26, the ESPN Bet Live show was aired on ESPN2 directly from the new sportsbook.

The location also hosted a number of regular ESPN programming and podcasts, like the First Draft podcast anchored by Field Yates, Domonique Foxworth, Matt Miller and Mina Kimes. Other shows broadcast from the sportsbook during the week include Unsportsmanlike, the morning show hosted by Evan Cohen, Michelle Smallmon and Chris Canty, the ESPN talent SportsCenter, and the Greeny Show.

“We’re thrilled to open the first ESPN BET retail location in Detroit and become part of a community of deeply passionate sports fans. We want fans to come embrace a first-class betting experience and we’re excited to showcase the ESPN BET brand in a contemporary space,” Mike Morrison, VP of ESPN Bet commented in a press release.

The Detroit physical sportsbook debut is the first in a string of projects lined up for the PENN Entertainment and ESPN Bet this year. With the operator purchasing WynnBet’s New York license earlier this year, it will be biding its time to launch in the Big Apple before 2024 runs out.

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