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Iowa casino to open new Betfred sportsbook

Wed, Jan 29, 11:50am by Noah Taylor

Iowa’s Grand Falls Casino and Golf Resort will open its doors to a Betfred USA sportsbook later this week, offering punters access to both mobile and internet betting.

Casino Beats reports that the sportsbook will open on January 30, offering visitors access to 80 screens, 10 recliners, 22 lounging chairs, two reservable VIP areas and five high top tables, with full bar and food service.

The general manager of Grand Falls, Sharon Haselhoff said: “We are thrilled and excited to work together with Betfred USA Sports who brings decades of retail and online expertise to our region. Grand Falls always strives on being a one-of-a-kind destination and we believe the sportsbook experience will be like no other in the Midwest.”

Betfred USA set its sights on the Hawkeye state in July 2019 when the company first entered into agreement with Elite Casino Resorts and a sports betting agreement for the Larchwood-based property.

The gaming and resort destination operator also counts the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort in Riverside and Rhythm City Casino Resort in Davenport as part of its Iowa-based stable.

“We’re very proud of our partnership with Elite Casino Resorts to bring a Las Vegas quality sportsbook to Grand Falls Casino and sports bettors in Sioux Falls, Northwest Iowa and southwest Minnesota,” stated Bryan Bennett, chief operating officer of Betfred USA Sports.

“Grand Falls already provides a fantastic gaming and resort experience to its patrons and we look forward to adding to that with Betfred sportsbook.”

This follows news that Betfred has secured a new agreement with Colorado-based Saratoga Casino Black Hawk to roll out sports betting services throughout the Centennial State.

The partnership, which is awaiting regulatory approval, will see Betfred offer Colorado bettors access to mobile and internet betting services throughout the state.

Colorado became the 19th state to legalise sports betting in November 2019, after facing a narrow margin of 51 per cent to 49 per cent voting in favour of the legislation according to unofficial returns.

Chinese sports betting executive steps down

The chief executive of a Chinese sports betting group has temporarily stepped down amid an investigation into whether the company bribed lawmakers in Japan involved in legalising casino gambling there.

Asia Nikkei reports that Pan Zhengming, the chief executive of 500.com, will vacate his positions, including a seat on the board of directors, until an internal committee finishes a probe into “alleged illegal money transfers and the role played by consultants” in Japan, the company said in a statement to investors.

The board decision was made at Pan’s request, effective December 30, according to the company.

Tokyo prosecutors reported a former head of 500.com’s Japan operations and two former consultants last month.

They are suspected of bribing a membre of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling party to gain a favourable position for a bid to run one of the country’s upcoming casino resorts.

The sports betting group set up a Japanese subsidiary in 2017 with an eye to the proposed casinos, one of which was to be located on the northern island of Hokkaido.

The money linked to the alleged bribe appears to have entered Japan illegally, prosecutors say.

The Japanese lawmaker accused of receiving the money, Tsukasa Akimoto, was also arrested in December.

Akimoto is alleged to have received 3 million yen (US$28,000) in cash from 500.com suspects in 2017, as well as enjoying a family vacation at the company’s expense.

He has denied the charges.

One of the suspects told investigators that five Japanese lawmakers were given cash, sources familiar with the investigation say.

500.com stocks plunge amid allegations

An internal company memo obtained by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office reveals that 3 million yen was handed over to Tsukasa Akimoto.

Another 1 million yen was supplied to each of five other members of the lower house.

The five members in question are Hiroyuki Nakamura, Takeshi Iwaya, Toshimitsu Funahashi, Mikio Shimoji and Masahisa Miyazaki.

The series of funds is said to have been provided to the representatives by former 500.com advisors Masahiko Konno and Katsunori Nakazato between September and October 2017.

It is believed 500.com was angling to be involved in the development of an IR in either Hokkaido or Okinawa.

Ironically, both locations have since withdrawn from Japan’s IR race.


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