Betfred making up lost ground in US sports betting push


betfred-grand-falls-casino-sports-bettingUK sports betting operator Betfred is rapidly establishing a US market presence as it attempts to keep pace with its UK rivals.

Last July, Betfred inked its first US sports betting deal with Iowa’s Elite Casino Resorts for a retail sportsbook at the Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort in Larchwood as well as a statewide online betting product. This week, Betfred announced that its retail ops will open on Thursday (30), with the online and mobile component expected to follow in the coming weeks.

Last week, Betfred announced a pair of similar retail/online betting partnerships with tribal gaming operators, including a deal with the Wind Creek Casino & Resort Bethlehem (formerly Sands Bethlehem) in Pennsylvania. Pending regulatory approval, Betfred will provide both retail and online wagering technology, along with compliance, support, marketing and trading services.

Betfred also inked a deal with the Saratoga Casino Black Hawk near Denver, Colorado. The deal is subject to Betfred receiving one of the 33 betting licenses the state plans to issue after approving legal wagering last November. Assuming Betfred gets the nod, legal wagering would start both at the casino and statewide via mobile devices in May.

All these deals were done via Betfred’s US subsidiary Betfred USA Sports, which was created last year and calls Las Vegas home. Betfred is playing catch-up to a number of its UK rivals who have already commenced US betting operations, including William Hill, GVC Holdings, Flutter Entertainment (via FanDuel) and Bet365.

Betfred is one of the UK’s last surviving privately held bookmakers, thanks to the fierce independence of its founding Done brothers, Fred and Peter, who opened their first betting shop way back in 1967. The business has underperformed of late due to retail challenges but the brothers’ combined wealth was still good enough to rank them third among gambling entrepreneurs on the latest Sunday Times rich list.