ESPN BET Retail Sportsbook Set to Be Unveiled in Detroit Before NFL Draft

Jessica Aletor
Jessica Aletor


  • ESPN BET Michigan is set to be unveiled at Hollywood Casino at Greektown before the NFL Draft in Detroit and months after the plan was announced by PENN CEO Jay Snowden.
  • Detroit casinos brace for massive influx of potential customers as NFL Draft is billed for April 25 in a location about five blocks from Hollywood Casino at Greektown.
  • The NFL Draft billed to happen in Detroit offers all Detroit Casinos an opportunity to boost revenue following a commendable outing in March.

ESPN BET’s retail sportsbook will be opening in Hollywood Casino at Greektown on April 24. According to PENN Entertainment, this development marks the first time any ESPN retail sportsbook is being hosted at properties owned by Hollywood nationwide.

The timing of this launch is interesting. The NFL Draft is set to kick off on April 25 in Detroit. The event historically attracts a massive crowd of fans from all over the country. At least, between April 25 and 27, a considerable number of these fans will be gambling at Hollywood Casino at Greektown or use any of the Michigan online gambling platforms. 

Hollywood Casino at Greektown Set to Unveil Rebranded ESPN BET Retail Sportsbook

ESPN BET Michigan is set for unveiling inside Hollywood Casino at Greektown. Earlier this year, and during PENN Entertainment’s Q4 2023 earnings call, CEO Jay Snowden announced this development.

According to Snowden, ESPN BET branding would be added to the retail sportsbook of Hollywood Casino at Greektown in the second quarter of 2024. The casino now plans to unveil the new ESPN BET retail sportsbook on April 24. Though the rebranding is still ongoing, available information suggests that it will be concluded just in time for the unveiling.

There is no doubt that the rebranding and announced date for unveiling was planned by PENN to coincide with the forthcoming NFL Draft. During PENN’s Q4 2023 call, the opening of ESPN BET retail sportsbook was touted as a means to create “a unique omni-channel experience with ESPN events and talent for VIPs, clients and fans.”

This was confirmed by the Vice President of ESPN BET, Mike Morrison, in a February press release.

“Growing the ESPN BET brand is essential in increasing our market share and ultimately reaching a podium position. Our commitment to that shows in a variety of ways from new markets to our first retail presence, and we cannot wait to open ESPN BET inside Hollywood Casino at Greektown for fans in Michigan ahead of some key sporting events,” Morrison said.

NFL Draft Weekend Offers Hollywood Casino at Greektown and Its Rivals an Opportunity to Boost Revenue

The unveiling of ESPN BET in Hollywood Casino at Greektown is happening on the eve of the NFL Draft in Detroit. The Draft is set to begin on April 25 and will attract thousands of fans from across the country. This event will have an enormous economic impact on Detroit casinos.

For context, the NFL's 2023 Draft in Kansas City attracted over 310,000 guests and saw economic activities worth over $164 million take place over three days. The same is about to repeat itself in Detroit between April 25 and April 27. All casinos in Detroit are well positioned to benefit directly from related activities.

Talking about positions, Hollywood Casino at Greektown is actually located just five blocks away from the main stage at Campus Martius Park. The retail casino is about to benefit from major exposure. Hollywood Casino at Greektown’s rivals are also located within eight and 15 blocks to the event location with MotorCity Casino located the farthest.

NFL Draft May See Month-On-Month Revenue Reach New Heights for Detroit Casinos in April

The year began with a slow January and February. In March 2024, things changed for the better as all Detroit casinos, including Hollywood Casino at Greektown, had a combined revenue of $122.3 million. March 2024’s revenue is the highest year-on-year revenue the casinos have recorded since March 2019.

For the first two months of 2024, Hollywood Casino at Greektown generated $22.2 million and $23.8 million respectively. In March, the retail casino generated $28.1 million.

Last month, Detroit casinos saw an increase in retail sports betting, along with their usual offerings of slots, table games, and poker. The three establishments reported a retail sports betting handle of $17.25 million in March, marking a 30% increase from the previous month and a 23.7% rise compared to the same period last year.

With the surge of visitors in Detroit during the three-day event, local casinos are expected to benefit significantly. Hollywood Casino Greektown, in particular, might reap the most rewards as it is nearest to the event and just opened its brand-new ESPN BET retail sportsbook.

Jessica is a news contributor to Gamble Online Michigan. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics but has over three years of experience working in the hospitality and gambling industry. Despite her core finance and investment banking background, she has been a casino feature writer for N1 Interactive Limited and multiple gambling affiliate sites. Her work has been featured on the bet365 blog, and Max Force Racing. She spends her time between Michigan and California, staying up-to-date on the latest industry developments