Betfred Plots Iowa Sports Betting Push After Platform Switch

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Iowa sports betting

Betfred recently relaunched in Iowa on a new technology platform.

The brand switched its Iowa sportsbook from Optima to the OpenBet technology it uses in other states. Betfred USA COO Bryan Bennett said the move would simplify operations across states by moving everything onto the same platform.

OpenBet is owned by Endeavour, who acquired it from Scientific Games last year.

Picking it up in the Hawkeye State

The platform switch happened last Wednesday in retail, with Betfred then launching iOS and Android apps for the first time in Iowa this week. 

“We’ve not had the success we wanted online in Iowa,” Bennett said. “But this will simplify things and give ourselves more chance for success.”

Big plans for Iowa sports betting

Bennet said the company would ramp up marketing in the state and was optimistic about picking up share.

“A very high percentage of our business comes from the area around our [retail venue] Grand Falls Casino,” Bennett said. “Online has basically been an extension of the retail business but there’s a whole state to attack.

“You will see us, starting in July, ramping up and being more aggressive in Iowa.”

Tough market to thrive

Betfred is currently live in:

Bennett said the group has several other market-access deals it has not announced yet. As for the challenge of being a smaller book competing in US sports betting, Bennett said:

“It’s tough fighting four 800-pound gorillas on a daily basis. We are trying to pick our spots and focus on a few key markets. We think Iowa can be one of those.”

First-mover advantage?

Bennett said the company was also focused on new markets like Ohio and Maryland where Betfred could launch on day one for the first time.

Larger operators like Caesars and PointsBet have also spoken about the difficulty of taking share after launching late in a market.

“That’s what we see, if you’re not in the first tranche,” Bennett said. “The welcome offers you need are just not feasible. You have to buy your way in. We’re looking forward to being first.”

Long-term view for Betfred

As for technology going forward, the Betfred UK parent business is currently developing a proprietary platform that could be rolled out globally in the next couple of years.

“I’d be lying if I said we weren’t looking forward to that at some point,” Bennett said. “That’s one thing we’ve learned, that not owning your platform comes with challenges. You don’t own the roadmap.”