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Major League Baseball Franchise Inks Partnership With Sportsbook

Detroit Tigers Sign Deal With Online Sportsbook PointsBet As State Readies For Gaming Expansion

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Baseball’s all-time hits leader is banned from the game for betting on it, but one of the game’s most historic franchises just became the first Major League Baseball team to sign a deal with an online sportsbook.

The Detroit Tigers announced a partnership with PointsBet late last week. The deal will start this year with the upcoming shortened 60-game MLB season and will include in-stadium signage visible on TV and branding on the team’s digital media as well, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Other teams have announced partnerships with casino brands, like when MGM Resorts inked a deal with the Boston Red Sox last year, but no franchise had partnered with a specific sportsbook. It marks a 180-degree flip from the league’s historical stance on sports betting.

Franchises in the three other major American professional sports leagues all have sports betting partnerships with certain sportsbooks.

The move comes as Michigan begins to roll out expanded gambling in its state. At the end of 2019, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill into law that legalized sports betting and online casino games, including poker.

The first brick-and-mortar sportsbook in state history launched in March at MGM Grand Detroit, but was closed shortly after its grand opening because of the coronavirus-induced gaming shutdown. Michigan regulators said at the start of 2020 that they were anticipating a launch for online betting in 2021.

PointsBet is an Australian company that has been operating in New Jersey for a few years. Last September, a New Jersey bettor won $600,000 on a $30,000 wager thanks to the company’s unique option that allows gamblers to wager with leverage based on how much the final score deviated from the original spread.