PointsBet and the University of Maryland agreed to a partnership last December, marking yet another merger of a sports betting operator with a collegiate athletic department. This specific deal, however, has its fair share of unique facets.
PointsBet and Maryland Terrapins join forces
Maryland sports betting has been steaming along in person for the better part of nine months. PointsBet is a little late to the party. With no current sportsbook in the state, PointsBet is eyeing mobile betting. Online sports betting is expected to be up and running by early next year.
This UMD-PointsBet pact promises to bring enticing in-game promotions to Maryland’s XFINITY Center, which houses both men’s and women’s Terps basketball.
The same goes for Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium, where Maryland Terrapins football games are played. The 2022 season begins on Saturday with a home game against Buffalo.
PointsBet/UMD deal details
The pairing was the third deal between a sports betting brand and a Power Five athletic program. It comes on the heels of a PointsBet Sportsbook deal with the University of Colorado and a Caesars deal with LSU.
Moreover, this deal was the first of its kind between a sportsbook and a member of the Big Ten Conference. Caesars since also penned a deal with the Big Ten’s Michigan State.
Along with in-arena activations and commercial assets, PointsBet will gain access to advertising across Maryland’s digital channels and sports radio broadcast network.
PointsBet to invest in responsible gaming
Partnerships such as this have long been contentious because they integrate sportsbooks with amateur athletes. Furthermore, the pairing signals the approval of on-campus sports betting promotions at an institution where most of the students aren’t of legal betting age.
To allay some of these concerns, PointsBet indicated that the partnership will “emphasize and create awareness around responsible gambling and sports betting education.”
PointsBet intends to provide responsible gambling education to University of Maryland staff, students and fans as part of the contract as well.
Education a key component of PointsBet deal
Discussions of a “philanthropic component” have also been hinted at, though details have yet to emerge.
PointsBet USA Chief Executive Johnny Aitken noted:
“Investing in the University of Maryland athletics program expands our ability to impact local communities and the greater DMV region while also connecting PointsBet with alumni that remain actively involved in reverence to their alma mater. Sports-betting education and safe gambling [are] key to our long-term strategy, as is making a tangible impact on the communities we invest in. We are proud to work with such a high-profile, storied university to further these objectives.”
PointsBet’s altruism is ultimately what made the deal possible, said Brian Ullmann, Maryland executive associate athletic director.
“With the announcement of our partnership with PointsBet through Maryland Sports Properties and Playfly Sports, we are looking forward to raising awareness and educating our student-athlete and University community about responsible gambling. Maryland athletics continues to lead boldly with the first deal of its kind in the Big Ten Conference and in the region.”
If efforts are successful, the Maryland Terrapins could prove to be a positive pioneer in the industry.
PointsBet also has unique deal with riverboat
Retail sports betting has been legal in Maryland since December 2021. But PointsBet has yet to open a sportsbook within the state.
Before locking in a deal with the University of Maryland, PointsBet originally secured access to the MD sports betting market through an agreement with Riverboat on the Potomac.
This licensed, simulcast horse racing facility is technically situated in Charles County, Maryland. The vessel also extends into a portion of Virginia. But the riverboat’s betting lounge is located on the Maryland side, giving the Old Line State ownership of the sportsbook.
The riverboat promises to be a unique location for the sportsbook once it gets up and running.
And now that PointsBet is moving forward with its UMD partnership, Terps fans will soon be able to wager on both land and sea.