Colorado Sports Betting

We are one step closer to legal sports betting in Colorado. After the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission finalized all rules and regulations for the sports betting license (SB Rule 3, found here), the next step was to allow for potential operators to file and apply for a sports betting license. Expect the first round of applicants to be approved sometime in February 2020. The question is, what is next?

 

Colorado Plans to Grant Up to 33 Licenses

With the state planning to grant up to 33 licenses for sportsbook operators, the fact that more than 50 applied could end up being problematic depending on the applications. The number of “more than 50” applications comes directly from Dan Hartman, director of the Department of Revenue’s Gaming Enforcement Division. Of these 50-plus, it includes:

  • 28 from existing casinos
  • 10 from operators for retail sportsbooks
  • 13 from potential internet apps in Colorado

There is no information on who exactly applied, but speculation would certainly lean towards the popular internet apps being approved and the larger retail sportsbooks in Colorado.

 

Which Operators Are Expected to be Approved?

Without a doubt, expect the major casinos in Colorado to be approved. This includes Bronco Billy’s, Double Eagle Hotel and Casino, and more in Colorado. In addition, while it is pure speculation, it is assumed that the popular online sports betting apps will be approved. This includes, but is not limited to:

Even if these sportsbooks are approved in February, there is still quite some time until sports betting can be offered in Colorado, as the law states May 1st for a “launch” date for the law to go into effect.

 

When Can I Bet in Colorado?

Betting in Colorado is fully expected to happen in summer of 2020, as the law states that it will go into effect on May 1st, 2020. Of course, licenses have to be approved, sportsbooks have to be set up, tested, regulated, and more. The legislation has already happened, as Colorado voters approved a referendum in November 2019 that allows for sports betting in retail and online sportsbooks. This includes a tax rate of 10%, which will go directly towards Colorado’s Water Plan, and the state expects to earn nearly $30M each year from taxes.

Assuming the process is similar to other states, once the law goes into effect and sportsbooks are ready to launch there will be a testing phase, where beta testers can try to “break” any application. That will last for a few days before an app is is launched to the public. Expect PointsBet to be one of the first sportsbooks, as it already has a partnership in Colorado.

For a full breakdown of sports betting in Colorado, click here.

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Known as “Rath” in the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) community, he has helped run operations for two prominent daily fantasy sports startups. Michael has taken his insider knowledge and expertise in DFS and sports betting to the content side. Rath won the 2016 FSWA "Baseball Article of the Year, Online" award and was a finalist for the FSWA Best Baseball Series in 2011.
Michael Rathburn
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