As it prepares for the launch of ESPN BET tomorrow, November 14, Gambling News reports that sports media giant ESPN has announced comprehensive guidelines aimed at preserving the integrity of its brand and journalistic operations. Released internally on November 10, ESPN tailored these rules to the network’s 5,000 employees, specifically targeting “insiders” and “journalists” with detailed betting restrictions.
No bet for insiders and journalists
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. The initiative is part of ESPN’s broader efforts to prevent the misuse of confidential information, including player injuries, officials’ decisions and management information, in betting activities.
The guidelines affect all ESPN employees, from on-air talent to production staff and reporters, whether they work onsite or remotely. The guidelines also prohibit executives managing league-related business relationships from betting on the leagues or properties they manage on a daily basis. Additionally, the company strongly discourages participation in any form of illegal betting.
ESPN has placed special emphasis on certain types of bets, such as awards votes, player personnel decisions and draft picks, to prevent employees with access to sensitive information from influencing or participating to these bets.
Alignment with Disney Standards of Conduct
ESPN may update these guidelines, developed in accordance with Disney’s Standards of Business Conduct, following the launch of ESPN BET. The network actively promotes ESPN BET, led by anchor Scott Van Pelt, signaling its commitment to responsible sports betting.
Although ESPN has not commented directly on the guidelines, the network appears committed to separating its journalism and sports betting operations. The memo makes it clear that no story should be influenced, delayed or withheld to affect betting lines.
Strategic partnership between ESPN and Penn Entertainment
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, the collaboration marks ESPN’s foray into the booming sports gaming market. The partnership aims to provide fans with an immersive sports betting experience.