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Barstool Sports Portnoy Uses Online Sports Betting To Help Michigan Small Businesses During Pandemic

(CBS DETROIT)- Starting Friday, gamblers in Michigan will no longer need to visit casinos to place a bet. All you'll need is a computer or cell phone.

The long-anticipated online sports betting is now legal in Michigan, and just a click away.

The excitement surrounding it has brought out internet celebrity David Portnoy.

He posted a series of online videos as he toured around Michigan trying out local pizza restaurants.

He also posted the moment he stepped into the brand new Barstool Sportsbook, which has been years in the making.

"When I walked into the sportsbook for the first time, I had to pinch myself because it just didn't seem real.

Portnoy, founder, and president of Barstool Sports, a popular online media site, is in Michigan this week, not only promoting his Barstool Sportsbook at Greektown Casino but helping small businesses in the area get a piece of the betting pie.

When online betting went live at noon on Friday, his Barstool Fund quickly started generating revenue for small businesses.

"We've raised a million dollars so far just for Michigan business, so I think we have a chance to raise 5 to 10 million dollars to give right back to businesses in Michigan who need it."

Portnoy says Penn National will match every dollar deposited and wagered with Barstool Sportsbook this weekend.

This, all to help save small businesses in the state that's struggling to stay afloat. Since its debut a month ago, the Barstool Fund has raised nearly 30 million dollars to help small businesses across the county during the pandemic.

"It's a great feeling to help others," said Portnoy.

All 3 Detroit casinos will participate in sports betting; an industry expected to bring millions in tax revenue for Michigan. Nearly a dozen online operators are available for gamblers, that must be 21 years old.

Click here for information on donating to Barstool Sports, or if you're a business in need of help, go to.

If you need help with gambling, contact the National Council on Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522-4700.

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