Attention Adam Schefter and Adrian Wojnarowski: You’re not allowed to wager on the leagues you cover via the new ESPN BET.
With ESPN officially entering the sports betting market on Tuesday, the company has been working closely to determine who can and can’t use the new betting app among its 5,000 employees.
According to the stringent guidelines which were released internally on Friday, ESPN talent designed as “Insiders” or “Reporters” are prohibited from placing, soliciting, or facilitating any bet on leagues they cover like the NFL and NBA.
ESPN especially does not want confidential information they gather used for betting purposes, whether it’s scoops on player injuries or information about officials, players, coaches, or management. That goes for somebody else placing the bets for them too.
Front Office Sports previously reported Insiders like Schefter would be kept far away from ESPN’s gambling shows like “Daily Wager.”
Beyond front-facing talents, all ESPN employees are banned from betting on any games they’re specifically assigned to work or cover. That includes production personnel and journalists working on or off-site.
At the executive level, ESPN employees managing business relationships with leagues are also prohibited from betting on those leagues.
All employees are strictly prohibited from participating in any form of illegal betting. ESPN is urging all employees to be extra cautious about placing certain types of bets.
For example, ESPN specifically does not want its people wagering on awards votes like league MVPs. Ditto for player personnel decisions. Or betting on draft picks, such as who will be the first wide receiver picked in the NFL Draft.
The guidelines were developed in conjunction with parent Walt Disney’s Co.’s standards of business conduct. They might be updated once ESPN BET goes live in 17 U.S. states Nov. 14.
The sports media giant has already launched new commercials touting ESPN BET with anchor Scott Van Pelt. The platform’s official odds are being used across editorial. Starting Friday, “Daily Wager” was renamed “ESPN BET Live.”
After years of resistance, ESPN finally entered the sports betting business in August via a 10-year, $2 billion deal with PENN Entertainment to rebrand Barstool Sportsbooks as ESPN BET.
ESPN declined to comment on the guidelines.