Mohegan Casino Las Vegas will finally get a sportsbook nearly two years after the property opened.
On Thursday, the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) awarded a sports betting license to Betfred. That decision came one day after the Nevada Gaming Control Board recommended its application for approval.
Officials with Betfred say they intend to open the retail sportsbook at the off-Strip casino, which includes a Virgin hotel, rather quickly. In a post on Twitter, the operator said the first bets would be taken before the February 12 Super Bowl.
Bryan Bennett, Betfred’s COO of US operations, told Casino.org that there are plans to launch a mobile betting app in the Silver State, but that it won’t launch until later in the year.
The sportsbook has been built out for some time, with large television screens capable of showing multiple games or events. Joe Hasson, the casino’s general manager, told the NGC that patrons have sat in the area to watch games. However, no bets have been placed because the machines to take wagers haven’t been brought to the gaming floor.
While the sportsbook will carry the Betfred brand and its manager will report to a Betfred executive, Hasson told commissioners that the sportsbooks cashiers and other employees will work for Mohegan.
Lengthy Licensing Process
Betfred’s licensure is a key and long-awaited milestone for the Vegas casino.
Richard Branson’s Virgin Group purchased the then-Hard Rock Casino in 2018. Virgin secured a deal with Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment to operate a 60,000-square-foot casino on the property. With that, the Connecticut-based gaming company became the first tribal operator of a Las Vegas casino.
After closing in February 2020 to undergo renovations, the casino and hotel opened in March 2021.
Mohegan had a deal in place with Betfred to operate the sportsbook at the Vegas casino back in 2020, Hasson said. Betfred agreed to a “substantial” investment in building out the brick-and-mortar sportsbook in the casino, and Hasson said the company did that in a timely manner.
Any number of delays found their way into a complicated critical path, most notably COVID-19 and long distances between Betfred and the great state of Nevada,” Hasson said.
The NGC unanimously approved Betfred’s license.
Brothers Fred and Peter Done started the company in the United Kingdom more than 55 years ago. The company now operates more than 1,400 retail sportsbook locations and employs 11K people globally.
Betfred now has a presence in nine US states. It launched its online app in Ohio earlier this month. The company also has retail locations and/or online apps licensed in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington state.
The company made news earlier this week when Fred Done announced the company would pay out Super Bowl futures bets placed on the Cincinnati Bengals as winning bets even though the Bengals still need to win Sunday’s AFC Championship game to reach the big game.
It’s a tactic Betfred and other sportsbooks have employed before to generate buzz around their brands, retain existing customers, and attract new bettors. A little over a year ago, Betfred announced it would pay out futures bets on Manchester City to win the 2021-22 English Premier League title despite the season only halfway finished by that point.
Betfred is looking to become a significant player in the Ohio market, one of the biggest in the US. The Bengals are partners with Betfred in the state.
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