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Betfred awarded sports betting license in Nevada

Betfred sports betting news

Virgin Hotels Las Vegas has finally been cleared to open a sportsbook, two years after the property began operations. The Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) issued a sports betting license to Betfred Group Ltd earlier this week.

The board made the decision a day after the Nevada Gaming Control Board recommended the sportsbook’s application for approval. During its regular meeting, the NGC board members voted 4-0 in favor of the licensing.

Steven Cohen, the Vice Chair, did not take part in the discussion or the vote due to his involvement with the law firm Cohen Johnson. Cohen also revealed that before he received his appointment on the commission, he had met with Betfred representatives but had no pecuniary interest.

The British sportsbook operator was founded in 1967 and runs operations in the United Kingdom, United States, and South Africa. It has subsidiaries in US states like Colorado, Iowa, Arizona, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Washington, Louisiana, and Virginia. The company has around 1,400 betting outlets as well as 11,000 employees globally.

While speaking to the regulators on Wednesday, Fred Done, Founder and Chairman of Betfred, who identified himself as the “Fred” of Betfred, revealed that he did not start out with the intention to “build an empire”. However, the growth and popularity of sports betting resulted in the expansion of the industry and his company.

Done and other executives were questioned by the commission for almost half an hour concerning a lawsuit against the company that was filed in Australia. Betfred was also asked about the disciplinary actions taken against them by British regulators.

The executives reportedly gave satisfactory answers on how the issues occurred as well as the resolution. The board also commended Done for his “incredible legacy” and close bond with his staff, who became like family.

“We ask a lot of hard questions, and sometimes the way those questions are answered are defensive or not handled in a way that speaks volumes to character,” Jennifer Togliatti, the board’s chairwoman, said.

“The way you answered those questions and the fact that you’re an open book, as is everybody on your team, and you accept responsibility for your mistakes, you move forward and make changes — (it’s) exactly what regulators like to see.”

Betfred’s sports book will be operated in the casino controlled by Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, and asides from one manager; every other staff will work for Mohegan. The manager in question is the sports book director and will be a Betfred employee. Mohegan officials clarified that the manager would report to both the British sports book operator and Mohegan General Manager Joe Hasson.

Since Mohegan Sun Casino in Virgin Hotel, Las Vegas launched two years ago, Betfred’s sports book operator has sat unused, waiting for licensing. It is fully equipped with screens for customers to entertain themselves with sports games. Transaction equipment is currently being set up at the facility and will hopefully open in time for the February 12 Super Bowl.

While voicing her support for Betfred on Thursday, Commissioner Ogonna Brown said, “I’m pleased that you’ll finally be getting licensed in the state of Nevada.”

“I’m lost for words with you. Thank you,” Done replied.

The officials disclosed on Wednesday that the Betfred sports book would not offer racing wagers, only sports bets. They expressed hope that race betting and a mobile app for betting would be included as the year progresses.

Virgin Hotel, which opened in March 2021, initially had space to house a small sportsbook; however, the distance between Las Vegas and Betfred’s headquarters, as well as the coronavirus pandemic at the time, prevented it from opening earlier.

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