ESPN Bet Customer Reviews Speak Volumes as Sportsbook Mostly Getting Beat Up

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Dec/09/2023

We are here in Louisiana this week and that provides us an opportunity to view Facebook advertisements not always available in U.S. states where sports betting is not yet regulated.  Sports betting is regulated in the state with the exception of a few sparsely populated parishes.  New Orleans, where we are, embraces sports gambling.

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The Facebook ads are typical. In the case of ESPN Bet, the site is offering $200 in bonus bets.  Bet365 has a pretty creative offer: Bet $1 and receive $365 in bonus wagers.  BetMGM's ad features actor Jamie Foxx encouraging folks to play and receive up to $1500 in bonus bets, if you don't win.

But it's not the actual ads that caught our attention.  Like with most Facebook advertisements - and any post for that matter - we jumped right to the comments.

For BetMGM, it was mostly folks tagging others and discussing how dreamy Jamie Foxx is. Theirs was in video format. We can't help but notice how BetMGM seems to have kept Foxx in perfect health over these past six months.  He was hospitalized and nearly died back in the spring.  You'd never know this from seeing him appear in these advertisements.  They ran them all through Foxx' ordeal.

Bet365 tends to get many positive reviews.  The long established UK-based betting firm is certainly increasing its market share in the U.S.  In another life Bet365 operated in the U.S. with a reputation right up there with the likes of Pinnacle and Bookmaker in terms of taking all types of action.  Bet365 already had an existing U.S. customer database, which most certainly gives the company a leg up. 

"I been tearing them up I like them way better than FanDuel," one person commented.

"Absolutely the best sportsbook. Only gripe is the app performance."

The negative posts were more along the lines of this:

"It's legit but the app isn't on the same playing field as draft king or fan duel.  This is more like a Nintendo vs ps5."

But Bet365 is hardly immune to the complaints we've been seeing industry wide either.

"Worse betting app and customer service of all betting apps. They will kick you off for no reason and your money is stuck!"

"Your bonus bet payouts are wack."

"It's confusing to bet on this app."

"Crap you only get the winnings of the bonus bet minus the bonus bets in the fine print."

"I sent a copy of my driver license which I thought was strange. But to ask for SS card and proof of address. That’s crazy."

Then there is ESPN Bet, a known commodity in the U.S.  This is where things get a little sticky.

Up until recently, folks could hate on Stephen A. Smith but still tune into ESPN regularly to watch games and sports programs. 

With the ESPN Bet app, the beloved sports media brand risks damage to its reputation.  The app is also incorporating ESPN personalities into the branding and nothing good can come out of that.  ESPN, we should point out, does not operate the betting app.  Those duties go to Penn National.

The app itself utilized the Barstool Sports brand prior to switching to ESPN Bet.  Fortunately for Barstool Sports, they got out of the betting business before any real damage could be done.  One of the site's personalities got canned for making a controversial remark that threatened the licensing process of the Barstool Sportsbook betting app. 

And Penn National does not let prospective customers know they are ineligible for bonus offers if they were previously signed up with Barstool Sportsbook.  Unless you happen to be a regular reader of the Gambling911 website or immersed in the industry like we are, you're probably unfamiliar with the rebranding.

Here are just some of the comments we observed.

"Horrible. ID verified 22 days ago and still waiting on verification of address! Same response from the bot customer service."

"One of the worst sports books, forget about live betting, it will drive you insane trying to place a bet."

"Bruh I been emailing and calling y’all for weeks yall don’t even respond at all no response at all."

"I signed up and my account was instantly suspended "

"Customer service hasn’t emailed or called me back after several attempts in 2.5 weeks! My account was locked as soon as I signed up!"

One of the more controversial aspects of the ESPN Bet app is its policy on Same Game Parlays whereby an otherwise winning parlay with one push becomes a push in terms of a payout.  In other words, no win, no loss.

No mention of that in the comments but we see a problem arising as more and more folks join the app, especially if they happen to be watching the game that counts as a push on an ESPN affiliate network.

- Chris Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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