PointsBet Stakes First Claim in Texas Through Austin FC Partnership

Sports betting is not yet legal in Texas. However, one operator already has a foot in the door for when the opportunity arises in the country’s second biggest state. On Wednesday, Austin FC announced that PointsBet has become a founding partner of first-year soccer club.

Austin FC Brad Stuver goes up high to make a save in the MLS club’s home match Wednesday against LAFC. Also on Wednesday, the Texas-based first-year soccer club announced sports betting operator PointsBet would become a founding partner of the club. (Image: AustinFC/Twitter)

According to a joint release, PointsBet will also become the “exclusive and official sports betting partner” for the MLS side (that’s soccer-speak for team). The Australian-based company will have its branding prominently placed throughout the club’s Q2 Stadium, which opened in June.

The agreement includes naming rights to a sports bar on the stadium’s second deck. The bar is currently open during ticketed events to anyone with a ticket at the 20,738-seat stadium in the Texas capital.

Not only is the PointsBet-Austin FC deal the first sports betting partnership established in Texas, but it also marks PointsBet’s first entry into MLS.

“PointsBet has emerged as a leader in what is arguably the most competitive and coveted landscape in sports,” Austin FC President Andy Loughnane said in a statement.

Partnership to Offer Bi-Lingual Marketing Opportunities

In addition to the usual fare in such arrangements, like PointsBet having rights to use the team’s logos, the agreement also promotional sweepstakes and giveaways that will be marketed in both English and Spanish.

That’s key for PointsBet as the company has eyed neighboring Mexico as an expansion opportunity.

Austin FC also noted that their new partner will help them promote responsible gaming practices and also collaborate to ensure the integrity of the club’s games and other MLS matches.

Texas Sports Betting Likely a Long Game for PointsBet

In a statement, PointsBet USA CEO Johnny Aitken said he sees a lot in common between the two entities.

As the city’s only major league team, Austin FC has excited global soccer fans and is setting a new standard for what it means to deliver for their supporters and their community by putting a laser-focus on experience,” Aitken said. “That’s exactly what we’re doing in the sports betting industry… We look forward to a future when our groundbreaking technology will be in the hands of Austin FC’s passionate and tech savvy fanbase.”

The technology is available now, but only through a free-to-play “Lone Star Pick’ Em” game powered by PointsBet’s media partner NBC Sports.

Getting sports betting passed in Texas may end up being a tall task, no matter what Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones may think. While there is some interest in expanding gaming, the state is still led by socially conservative lawmakers who typically aren’t willing to back such opportunities out of fear of losing support in their home districts.

While California may get some type of sports betting product launched within two years and New York may get online wagering within the next six months and Florida – legal challenges aside – may get retail and online up and running within weeks, it will likely be 2023 or later before sports betting legalization gets serious consideration in the Lone Star State.

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