As it gears up for the launch of ESPN BET tomorrow, Nov. 14, Gambling News reports that the sports media giant ESPN has announced comprehensive guidelines aimed at preserving the integrity of its brand and journalistic operations. Released internally on Nov. 10, ESPN tailored these rules the network’s 5,000 employees, specifically targeting “Insiders” and “Reporters” with detailed betting restrictions.
No betting for insiders and reporters
The guidelines strictly prohibit high-profile insiders such as Adam Schefter and Adrian Wojnarowski, known for covering major leagues like the NFL and NBA, from placing, soliciting, or facilitating bets on the leagues they report on. This initiative is part of ESPN’s broader effort to prevent the misuse of confidential information, including player injuries, officials’ decisions, and management insights, in betting activities.
The guidelines encompass all ESPN employees, from on-air talent to production staff and journalists, whether working on-site or remotely. The guidelines also bar executives managing league-related business relationships from betting on leagues or properties they handle daily. Furthermore, the company strongly discourages involvement in any form of illegal betting.
ESPN has placed particular emphasis on certain bet types, such as awards votes, player personnel decisions, and draft picks, to prevent employees with access to sensitive information from influencing or participating in these wagers.
Alignment with Disney’s conduct standards
ESPN may update these guidelines, developed in line with Disney’s Standards of Business Conduct, after ESPN BET’s launch. The network is actively promoting ESPN BET, led by anchor Scott Van Pelt, signaling its commitment to responsible sports betting.
While ESPN didn’t comment directly on the guidelines, the network seems determined to keep its journalism and sportsbook operations separated. The memo clearly states that no story should be influenced, delayed, or withheld to affect betting lines.
ESPN and Penn Entertainment’s strategic partnership
ESPN and Penn Entertainment announced a partnership in August to launch ESPN BET, transforming Barstool Sportsbook into an exclusive sportsbook integrated into ESPN’s programming. Fueled by a $1.5 billion investment from Penn Entertainment, this collaboration marks ESPN’s foray into the burgeoning sports gaming market. The partnership aims to provide fans with an immersive sports betting experience.