Penn Facing Fine for Rece Davis “Risk-Free” Comment on ESPN

  • Rece Davis referred to a recommended bet as “a risk-free investment” 
  • The ESPN post clairified that it was a “tongue-in-cheek” comment
  • The MGC has kickstarted an investigation through its IEB group
ESPN logo on TV
ESPN host Rece Davis is in trouble for making a comment on TV. [Image:]

ESPN host Rece Davis may have thought he was being funny when he referred to a recommended bet as a “risk-free investment” live on air. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) certainly didn’t see the funny side though, and now Penn Entertainment is facing a financial penalty.

I think the way you’ve sold this; I think what it is, is a risk-free investment.”

Davis made the comment during a segment on College Game Day last month. Responding to a recommended bet by ESPN Bet analyst Erin Dolan, Davis said: “Some would call this wagering, gambling. I think the way you’ve sold this; I think what it is, is a risk-free investment.”

In Massachusetts, sportsbooks can not suggest that wagering is “free of risk” or that “personal success is guaranteed.” It wasn’t long before David had realized his mistake. Despite not apologizing, Davis took to X to clarify that this was a “tongue-in-cheek” comment which did not reflect his views on gambling:

Regardless of Davis’ attempts to rectify the situation, the MGC is clearly not ready to draw a line over the issue. The group’s Investigation and Enforcement Bureau (IEB) brought up the incident during a meeting last week. Since Penn Entertainment operates the ESPN Bet app, the IEB is considering taking action against Penn for the incident.

The IEB will continue its investigation and put the evidence together for an adjudicatory hearing.

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