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Tigers Ink Deal With PointsBet, Become First MLB Team to Sign Official Betting Partner

Tigers Ink Deal With PointsBet, Become First MLB Team to Sign Official Betting Partner article feature image

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images. Pictured: Comerica Park

The Detroit Tigers on Thursday became the first Major League Baseball team to sign a sponsorship deal with a sportsbook.

The sportsbook is PointsBet, which had already signed a deal with MLB to become an authorized gaming partner, a requirement to partner with teams.

The partnership will include signage at Comerica Park and on Tigers TV and radio broadcasts.

Other specifics are being worked out, including the possibility of offering free-to-play sponsored games to fans inside the stadium. However, Major League Baseball rules currently prohibit sportsbook sponsors from overtly advertising odds.

So while PointsBet branding will be front and center, the book is hoping that brand call outs make them the book of choice in Michigan. Its integration into the MLB ballpark and District Detroit app will not be a direct connection to the sportsbook, sources said. The sponsorship deal is also being referred to as “gaming” and not “betting.”

PointsBet’s partnership in Michigan is with Lac Vieux Desert Public Enterprise, an entity of the Lake Chippewa native American tribe.

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While land-based Michigan casinos opened their sportsbooks in March, PointsBet, a mobile-only operator isn’t live yet.

This week, the Michigan Gaming Control Board started accepting applications for online gambling operators. Mobile betting is expected to be live within the state later this year or in early 2021.

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