Colorado Sports Betting To Launch May 1

Colorado’s gaming regulators have approved of a May 1 sports betting launch despite the nation-wide shutdown of all major professional sports leagues. The decision comes month’s after voters approved of sports betting in November 2019 and is backed by the state’s licensed casinos and operators.

Coors field during Colorado Rockies baseball games.

Colorado’s gaming regulators have approved of a May launch for sports betting operators. The state’s laws allow for a mobile betting market — and important feature considering the closure of all of the state’s casinos. ©272447/Pixabay

Along with the news to continue the roll-out of sports betting as scheduled, the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (CLGCC) also approved more operating licenses. Of these is SBTech, which was approved unanimously by commission members despite the reported security breaches against a number of its clients.

Set to launch on May 1 are 25 internet sports licensees and 19 retail sports licensees. These include BetAmerica, the Wildwood Casino at Cripple Creek, FanDuel and Betbull Limited. Compared to other states, Colorado’s license fees are meager, with master licenses only costing $2,000 and most others costing $1,200.

In addition to the license approvals, the CLGCC also finalized its budgets over a teleconference meeting. Commissioners also announced a few minor changes to the wagers that residents could make. This included blocking certain wagers on NCAA games, which voters approved of restricting last year.

As for what users will be allowed to bet on once sports betting launches, the wagering options remain limited while the coronavirus shutdown continues to wreak havoc on global sports. Despite the limitations, the director of Colorado’s Division of Gaming described most operators as being excited to launch.

The currently approved operators include everyone from small Colorado casinos, Nevada’s popular SuperBook platform and a number of international operators. Of these, only three towns are able to offer in-person sports wagering. The rest will be accepted online, 85% of total revenues will be made from mobile bets.

Sports wagering with online options have proven to be important in indicating the profitability of sports wagering as more states around the country move towards legalization. New Jersey, for one, has now earned 65% of its sports betting revenues from online sources, while 90% of Pennsylvania’s revenues are from mobile betting.

Many have high hopes for mobile sports wagering in Colorado in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic’s sports shutdown as its regulations are similar to Pennsylvania’s. With its distributed remote populations, passionate sporting culture and cold temperatures, it may even become the epicenter for the mobile betting market.

Colorado’s Sports Betting Options

Since states first started legalizing sports betting, Colorado was long seen as an important market to win for sports betting operators. In fact, FanDuel was one of the largest contributors to the campaign to legalize sports betting. Fortunately, the state’s voters and lawmakers were particularly receptive to the move.

“Colorado was really the model of both sides (of the political aisle) coming together in a common-sense way and not only pass legislation of sports betting but taking the next step to say, ‘Where will the revenue go and what’s important in our state.”Stacie Stern, Manager of Government Affairs, FanDuel

A major draw for voters was that funds generated from taxing sports betting revenues would be used to fund the state’s ambitious Water Plan. What many didn’t know at the time though, was what kind of sports they could wager on and the specific types of bets that they could make.

Regulators have now unveiled their sports betting catalog, which lists 48 different sports or events that can be bet on, with over 1,000 types of bets available. Of course, NCAA wagers are temporarily excluded, though this could change in the near future as the gaming commission studies the legality of these bets.

As expected, bettors will be able to bet on the standard major professional sports leagues such as the NBA, the NFL, MLB, and NHL. However, many might be surprised to find that a number of obscure foreign sports can also be bet on, such as popular Gaelic Games with 29 betting options, or even British snooker, darts, and badminton.

Bettors will also be able to bet on Olympic Games sporting events and will be able to wager on everything from trifectas, medal counts and fastest semifinals. There is also a list of Winter Athletics sports that can be bet on which are bound to interest bettors in the Rocky Mountain state.

Colorado is set to become the fourth state to introduce sports betting in 2020. after Illinois, Michigan and Montana launched shortly before the sports league shutdowns. Washington D.C. was also set to launch in late March but unlike Colorado has decided to delay its launch until the return of the professional sports leagues.

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Calendar showing the first of May.

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