U.K. betting operator Betfred is set to make its U.S. market debut through a sports betting deal with Iowa’s Elite Casino Resorts.
On Wednesday, the privately-held Betfred announced a sports betting technology and operations agreement with Elite Casino Resorts, which owns and operates three gaming venues in the state of Iowa. Betfred’s local subsidiary was issued an Out of State Vendor license from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission on July 10.
For the time being, at least, the retail aspect of Betfred’s deal appears to be limited to Elite’s Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort in Larchwood, but Betfred will also provide a statewide online and mobile wagering product. Iowa’s governor signed the state’s betting legislation into law in May.
Betfred’s role will be to provide everything from trading, payments, customer support, marketing, anti-fraud and compliance duties. Betfred has partnered with Nevada-based SCCG Management to help sniff out further U.S. market opportunities.
Betfred CEO Fred Done called the deal “a very exciting opportunity and market” for his company, and Elite CEO Dan Kehl said Betfred would help bring a “world-class” betting product to Iowa.
Betfred is a relative latecomer to the monkey knife-fight being waged between European betting operators in search of U.S. gaming partnerships. Betfred’s U.K. rivals, including GVC Holdings, Bet365 and Flutter Entertainment (via its FanDuel subsidiary), have all been busy sweet-talking U.S. land-based operators like Donald Trump at a teen beauty pageant.
Speaking of, U.K. bookmaker William Hill announced its latest Iowa deal this week, partnering with two Isle of Capri-branded casinos in Waterloo and Bettendorf. Both casinos are owned by Eldorado Resorts, with whom Hills struck a major betting partnership last September.
Hills previously inked a betting partnership with the Polk County-owned Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Altoona, just outside Iowa’s capital Des Moines. Betting operator Pointsbet has inked a similar deal with the Catfish Bend Casino in Burlington, Iowa.