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Penn opens first ESPN Bet retail sportsbook in Detroit, ahead of NFL draft

| By Jill R. Dorson
As the NFL prepares to descend on Detroit for its premiere off-season event, on Wednesday (24 April) Penn Entertainment opened its first brick-and-mortar ESPN Bet sportsbook.
espnbet greektown retail

The new location at the Hollywood Casino at Greektown is less than a mile from the site of the draft and will host a variety of ESPN programming through the week, according to a press release.

ESPN Bet went live with its first digital platforms in November 2023 after Penn Entertainment cut ties with its previous partner, Barstool Sportsbook. The new platform is live in 18 US states. When Penn launched ESPN Bet, it did not reveal how or when it would rebrand its retail sportsbooks.

“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,” Hollywood Casino at Greektown general manager John Drake said via 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.”

ESPN Bet retail sportsbook has 30-foot video wall

The new ESPN Bet retail sportsbook is located on the upper floor of the Hollywood Casino’s 100,000sq ft property. The 4,500sq ft venue features a 30-foot video wall, big screen TVs, cutting-edge betting kiosks and a dining area.

The draft is set to start at 8pm ET on Thursday (25 April) when the Chicago Bears make the first pick at Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza. The home town Detroit Lions have the no 29 pick. The draft runs through Saturday. Round one will be completed on Thursday, while rounds two and three are set for Friday beginning at 4pm. Rounds four to seven will take place on Saturday, beginning at noon.

According to the press release, ESPN will originate podcasts, radio and ESPN 2 broadcasts from the new sportsbook and “ESPN talent will also conduct live SportsCenter hits from the property during the week”.

Penn operates more than 20 Hollywood-branded casinos from Maine to Missouri. On the digital side, the company is aiming to launch in the largest legal betting state in the US – New York – later this year. ESPN Bet is in the process of applying for the vacated WynnBET licence in the Empire State.

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