Betfred Sportsbook could set a course to Virginia through a partnership with the state’s USL Championship franchise.
The sports betting company announced its partnership with Loudoun United FC on Tuesday. Pending Virginia Lottery approval, the pact allows Betfred to secure one of the limited online sportsbook spots in the state.
Virginia has 13 live sportsbooks at the moment. Technically, the state caps its sportsbook count “at no more than 12 permits,” according to Virginia code.
Virginia has exceptions that allow the state to max out at 19 sportsbooks, however.
The sports franchise exception helps Betfred Sportsbook
The United Soccer League dates back to 2011 and matches are streamed on ESPN platforms. Loudoun United FC plays at Segra Field in Leesburg, VA near Washington DC. LUFC has a direct affiliation with the DC United MLS franchise.
The team’s location is important because pro sports franchises have access to one of two sportsbook permits as long as the franchise is located in Virginia. DC franchises also count if enough employees meet income tax thresholds in Virginia.
FanDuel Sportsbook maintains a Virginia license in conjunction with the Washington Commanders. In fact, plans call for a retail FanDuel sportsbook lounge at FedEx Field.
Five sportsbook licenses can go to applicants who operate or intend to operate a Virginia casino.
- Hard Rock Casino and Resort in Bristol uses the Hard Rock Virginia Sportsbook.
- Rivers Portsmouth Casino Resort uses BetRivers Virginia Sportsbook.
- Caesars Virginia Casino Resort in Danville has a partnership with the Caesars Sportsbook in Virginia.
- HeadWaters Resort & Casino in Norfolk hasn’t announced a sportsbook partner yet.
- The proposed One Resort + Casino in Richmond needs voter approval in 2023. It can fold in a sportsbook brand as well. That spot also could go (in theory) to the competing Live! Casino & Hotel Virginia bid in Petersburg.
Betfred is Loudoun United FC’s official partner
Betfred will also be the back-of-jersey sponsor for Loudoun FC’s red-and-white home and away kits beginning in 2023. Bryan Bennett, Betfred USA Sports COO, said the company has a long history of successful sponsorships of soccer clubs in the UK.
“We couldn’t be more excited to enter into our first partnership in the US with Loudoun United. The club has built a solid foundation over the last four years, and we look forward to a long partnership to build the Loudoun United fanbase and Betfred Sportsbook in Virginia over the coming years.”
LUFC Executive Business Officer Doug Raftery thinks the Betfred partnership will be another way to enhance the fan experience.
“We look forward to working with Betfred to create a great environment on and off the field for seasons to come,” he said.
When to expect Betfred in VA
Betfred Sportsbook has strong British ties so a partnership with LUFC makes sense. Fred and Peter Done founded the company back in 1967. The Warrington UK company made its US debut in 2019. Customers can find Betfred in IA, PA, CO, LA, AZ, WA and MD. They want to enter the NV and OH markets as well.
As for Virginia plans, the Betfred launch may be a few months away. The VA Lottery window is closed, according to spokesman John Hagerty.
“The next annual application period opens in May 2023,” he recently told PlayVirginia.