Betfred Throws Hat Into AZ Sports Betting Ring With We-Ko-Pa Casino Deal

Written By Derek Helling on August 13, 2021 - Last Updated on January 27, 2022
Betfred Sportsbook Partners With We-Ko-Pa

Details about which Arizona casinos are vying to get in on sports betting continue to filter out.

We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort near Scottsdale, which belongs to the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, is making a go of it with Betfred Sportsbook.

Both parties could find out whether they qualify for sports betting licenses within a few days. Provided everything goes according to plan, the retail sportsbook inside the casino bearing Betfred’s branding might be ready to welcome bettors shortly thereafter.

What we know about Betfred Sportsbook Arizona

According to a press release, Betfred is eyeing both online and retail operations in the Grand Canyon State under the potential license. Betfred is one of several sportsbooks that have expanded into the US from the United Kingdom.

If the Arizona Department of Gaming approves, Betfred will add Arizona as its fifth active US jurisdiction. Two of Betfred’s current markets neighbor the state: Colorado and Nevada. The other two active jurisdictions include Iowa and Pennsylvania.

Betfred hasn’t emerged as a market share leader in any of those places, yet. For example, in July, Betfred contributed as Iowa’s 14th-best performer of 19 licensees. Betfred wasn’t among the first-movers in that state. That’s an advantage it could enjoy in Arizona.

According to the latest timeline from the ADG, qualifying applicants could get such notices as soon as Sunday. As there could be more qualifiers than available licenses, however, Betfred and the We-Ko-Pa Casino — as well as other AZ casinos that applied — will have to await allocation decisions.

The ADG currently plans to publicize its allocation determination on Aug. 27. Provided both parties clear both hurdles, the game would be afoot the following day. That’s when Arizonans could get their first look at Betfred.

Betfred could hit the ground running in AZ

Details about the brick-and-mortar sportsbook inside We-Ko-Pa are unavailable right now. However, the timeline states that licensees can start rolling out their marketing and registering customers as soon as Aug. 28.

Assuming regulatory approval, the Fort McDowell Yavapai could get rolling on building out the retail sportsbook the very hour they learn about their selection. Elsewhere in the state, the online sportsbook could be of more interest.

Betfred Arizona will likely open its push to garner new accounts with an introductory bonus. In its active markets, that offer is a dollar-for-dollar match of customers’ first deposits. That deal has a cap of $500 in Colorado and Iowa, while the Pennsylvania cap sits at $400.

The sportsbook could make a more lucrative offer in Arizona, given the somewhat more level playing field. The AZ betting app competition probably won’t hold back. For reference, the new Caesars Sportsbook currently offers new customers in several jurisdictions a risk-free first bet worth up to $5,000.

Other marketing channels for the sportsbook could include digital and traditional media, so Arizona residents should prepare for an oncoming deluge of sports betting advertising everywhere they look as soon as Aug. 28. If it gets its wish from regulators, Betfred will be part of that saturation.

Photo by AP / Chris Carlson
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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