Colorado is set to become the latest state in the U.S. to legally allow sports betting to take place within the state. Following on from states like Pennsylvania and Indiana, which changed their legislation a short while back, the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission is believed to be ready to hand out seven sports betting licenses to companies to operate within the state.
The license will allow these companies to operate both retail and online sports betting services to customers in Colorado and this will include a number of markets that are closely tied to sports betting, such as esports betting.
Colorado became the 19th state in the U.S. to legalize sports betting after Proposition DD was narrowly passed following a state referendum in November 2019. The proposition gives every person aged 21 or older the right to place a bet on sports events (and esports tournaments) through one of the licensed operators.
Following on from the referendum, the first sports betting services are expected to be ready to go live in Colorado in May 2020.
Gambling in casinos has been legal in Colorado since 1990, when casinos opened in the towns of Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek in order to rejuvenate the local economy.
Seven Casinos Apply
Seven casinos that applied for the first licenses are expected to be granted them at some point this week and those casinos have been working hard to secure partnerships with some of the biggest names in sports betting, fantasy sports and esports betting in order to help facilitate their move from casino-based operations into sports betting.
Twin River Worldwide Holdings, a company that owns the Golden Gates, Golden Gulch and Mardi Gras casinos in Black Hawk, has agreed to a couple of different deals with fantasy sports and sports betting companies DraftKings and FanDuel. DraftKings will open a retail sports betting operation within the Mardi Gras casino, as well as operating extensive sports and esports betting services online, while FanDuel are expected to solely offer an online service.
Other casinos that have applied for licenses have signed similar deals with other sportsbook services to ensure that they can be ready to open to customers in house and online, as expediently as possible once the licenses are granted.
Online Gambling Set To Dominate Market
Experts in the industry have speculated that online wagering will dominate the Coloradan betting industry, with some experts expecting that around 90% of sports betting within Colorado (and across the U.S) will be completed on a mobile device.
There is also a high degree of speculation as to what will be offered alongside traditional sports betting services, with esports betting likely to be made available initially, although exactly how big the esports betting industry will be in Colorado is not yet known. Other options such as In-Play betting on live events and Virtual Sports betting are also likely to be made available.
Many casinos have a tentative date of 1st May for their online betting services to become available, although some are already stating that their service may not be ready for this deadline and will start a short time thereafter.