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ESPN Bet Launches First Retail Sportsbook

Visitors to Hollywood Casino at Greektown in Detroit now have a new place to bet on the Lions, Tigers, Pistons, and Red Wings. The property became the first casino to house an official ESPN Bet retail sportsbook after the venue officially opened for business on Wednesday.

The 4,500 square-foot sportsbook includes a restaurant on the upper floor and comes after the company announced a major deal with Penn Entertainment in August for the company to use the ESPN brand for online sports betting. The Hollywood is owned by Penn and is now expected to be the first of several ESPN Bet retail books at more of the company’s casinos.

“We’re thrilled to open the first ESPN Bet retail location in Detroit and become part of a community of deeply passionate sports fans,” ESPN Bet Vice President Mike Morrison said. “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.”

Timed With NFL Draft in Detroit

The two companies announced a deal last year that sees Penn pay ESPN $1.5 billion over the next decade. As part of the agreement, Penn receives the rights to branding and media promotion via the network. ESPN could also receive bonus warrants to purchase up to 6.4 million additional common shares of Penn.

Gaining considerable market share still won’t be easy in a crowded marketplace that includes heavyweights like DraftKings and FanDuel as well as other players like BetMGM and Caesars. Adding retail books allows Penn to grow the brand’s footprint in casinos.

The new venue features high-tech wagering kiosks, big-screen TVs, a 30-foot video wall, and more. The unveiling is well-timed as the NFL Draft kicked off on Thursday and takes place less than a mile from the casino.

The Hollywood Casino is also hosting a variety of ESPN programming this week featuring network personalities Field Yates, Domonique Foxworth, Mina Kimes, Matt Miller, and more.

“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,” casino general manager John Drake said. “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.”