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PointsBet seals MLB first with Detroit Tigers partnership


PointsBet has achieved a pair of industry firsts through its exclusive partnership with the Detroit Tigers, becoming the first sportsbook to partner a Major League Baseball (MLB) team and the first to partner a Michigan-based sports franchise. 

The multi-year deal begins from the start of the 2020 MLB season on July 23, and comes after Michigan launched legal sports betting in March this year.

Through the deal PointsBet aims to enhance fan engagement and gameday experiences by providing access to unique experiences, content and promotions in and around the Tigers’ Comerica Park stadium. 

The operator’s branding will be featured heavily around the ballpark, with the operator also gaining a presence on the Detroit Tigers Radio Network, and on its digital platforms. This includes a regular feature on The Word on Woodward, a twice-weekly live stream on the team’s website, YouTube channel and Facebook page.

This, PointsBet explained, was facilitated by the business’ recent partnership with MLB to become an authorized gaming partner of the league. The deal grants access to league data, trademarks and logos within its sportsbook apps, as well as allowing operators to then partner individual teams.

“We are thrilled to welcome PointsBet as a gaming partner of the Detroit Tigers,” said Chris Granger, group president of sports and entertainment for the Tigers’ parent company Ilitch Holdings. 

“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.”

PointsBet USA chief executive Johnny Aitken hailed the “groundbreaking” partnership with the Tigers. 

“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,” he said.

“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.”

PointsBet, which first launched in the US with its January 2019 roll-out in New Jersey, secured access to Michigan’s regulated sports betting market through a deal with tribal operator Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians.

It struck a 20-year agreement with the tribe in January this year, through which it is to launch mobile and desktop sportsbooks, as well as branded tribal product. The partners are also in negotiations over the roll-out of a retail sportsbook at the tribe’s Northern Waters Casino Resort.

Michigan’s retail sports betting market went live on March 11 this year, with the launch of wagering at Detroit’s three casinos. While the roll-out was curtailed by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which shut all casinos from 16 March, operators generated $105,548 in revenue over that five-day period

Efforts to accelerate the roll out of online betting and online casino in the state are underway, with the Michigan Gaming Control Board this week beginning to accept operator license applications.