Virgin Hotels Las Vegas is on track to open its sportsbook after the Nevada Gaming Control Board recommended on Wednesday licensing for British bookmaker Betfred as operator. Up next, the Nevada Gaming Commission will consider final approval of the license at its monthly meeting on Thursday.
Board members voted 2-0 to approve the sportsbook in a special meeting, reports Las Vegas Review-Journal. It was board member Philip Katsaros’ final meeting, after announcing earlier this month that he would not return at the end of his four-year term. It also was expected to be Brittnie Watkins’ last meeting in the role as chairwoman, with Las Vegas attorney Kirk Hendrick, a longtime general counsel for UFC in Las Vegas, expected to take over next month.
British sportsbook operator Betfred, which was first licensed in 1967, has operations in the United Kingdom, South Africa and in the United States, including the states of Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington and Ohio. It has about 1,400 betting outlets and 11,000 employees worldwide.
Betfred Sportsbook in Washington The new book at Virgin Hotels is set to offer a “state-of-the-art” IGT wagering system with four betting windows and some betting kiosks. The book will be operated within the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority-controlled casino and all but one employee will work for Mohegan. One manager will be a Betfred employee, but Mohegan General Manager Joe Hasson said any player disputes will be handled by Mohegan and not by Betfred.
Sportsbook officials said they hope the facility will be open in time to take Super Bowl bets, as reported by Review-Journal. Initially, the Betfred book will offer sports bets only and no racing wagers, but managers said they hope to add race betting and a mobile app for betting later this year.
When Virgin Hotels opened its doors in March 2021, the property had space for a small sportsbook. However, the coronavirus pandemic took place, and the distance between Betfred’s headquarters and Las Vegas prevented the company from opening the amenity sooner.
Opening now seems on course again, though, as Control Board members consented to a special meeting on Wednesday, followed by an expected final approval on Thursday to prevent Betfred executives from having to travel trice to secure regulatory approval.