PointsBet To Partner With Tigers; First Sportsbook To Sign With MLB Team

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PointsBet became the first sportsbook to pair with a Major League Baseball franchise Thursday, reaching an agreement with the Detroit Tigers to be an official gaming partner.

The agreement was possible after PointsBet reached an agreement with MLB as an Authorized Gaming Partner, which allows the Australian-based sportsbook — which entered the U.S. sports betting market in January 2019 — to use official league data and logos. The multiyear agreement takes effect starting with the upcoming 2020 season.

“The PointsBet team is excited to announce our groundbreaking deal with the Detroit Tigers and Major League Baseball, becoming the first legal sports betting operator in U.S. history to partner with an MLB franchise,” noted Johnny Aitken, CEO of PointsBet USA, in a statement. “PointsBet operates in rare space within the industry by owning our technology environment from end to end, which allows us to be extremely nimble on product innovation and personalized offerings to complement our app’s market-leading speed.

“We offer the most betting options in the world on MLB games via our unique PointsBetting product, and we are excited to inject a unique and robust betting proposition into the great state of Michigan.”

Perks for PointsBet

PointsBet will instantly become more visible to Michigan sports bettors, starting with signage on both the scoreboard and right-field wall at Comerica Park where the Tigers play. There will also be what PointsBet calls “TV-broadcast visible branding” at Comerica Park and be featured on the Detroit Tigers Radio Network.

“We are thrilled to welcome PointsBet as a gaming partner of the Detroit Tigers,” said Chris Granger, Group President, Sports & Entertainment, Ilitch Holdings, Inc. “Our incredible fans will love the unique experiences and innovative offerings that PointsBet’s personalized platform provides. We look forward to the fan-friendly enhancements this will bring to the game-day experience in and around Comerica Park for years to come.”

Michigan legalized sports betting in December 2019, and its sportsbooks at the three casinos in Detroit were operational for less than a week when they were shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no timetable for those casinos’ reopening, but Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to advance Michigan into Phase 5 of the “MI Safe Start” recovery plan Saturday.

Firekeepers Casino, a tribal property that reopened June 1, opened its Dacey’s Sportsbook on June 22.

Last month, FanDuel became the first sportsbook to enter an agreement with an NFL team after reaching a deal to become the official sports betting partner and official daily fantasy partner of the Denver Broncos.

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Chris Altruda

Chris Altruda has been a sportswriter with ESPN, The Associated Press, and STATS over more than two decades. He recently expanded into covering sports betting and gambling around the Midwest.

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