Even as bookmakers are scrambling to offer bettors creative options during the coronavirus crisis, Colorado pushed forward Friday with the launch of its legal sportsbook industry, finally allowing legal Colorado Online / Mobile Sportsbooks to operate.
While other jurisdictions like Washington D.C. recently opted to delay the start of regulated sports betting – given the worldwide sports schedule’s clearance due to coronavirus fears – Colorado welcomed four online / mobile sportsbooks into the fold on May 1.
On launch day, Colorado sports betting enthusiasts were greeted with four online / mobile platforms courting local action:
- DraftKings Sportsbook and Golden Mardi Casino
- FanDuel Sportsbook and Golden Gates Casino
- BetRivers and J.P. McGill’s Hotel and Casino
- betMGM and Midnight Rose Hotel and Casino
Low Tax Rate Invites Industry Leaders to Set Up Shop Immediately
And as BetNewJersey.com founder Jason Ziernicki observed in an interview with MileHighSports, the presence of multiple operators should ensure plenty of bonus offers, free bets, and other promotions:
“What we’ve seen in states with favorable tax rates is over-the-top signup bonuses to entice new players to try out an app.
Colorado online gamblers are in for a treat as sportsbook operators compete with each other to win over their favor.”
While the Day 1 festivities were limited to the four aforementioned operators, 19 online / mobile sportsbooks have already had their license applications approved by the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (LGCC) and the Colorado Division of Gaming (CDG).
Eleven of those 19 sportsbooks have secured licensing partnerships with one of Colorado’s 33 brick and mortar casinos:
- Circa Sports and Century Casinos
- DraftKings Sportsbook and Twin River
- FanDuel Sportsbook and Twin River
- Penn Sports Interactive and Penn National
- PointsBet and Double Eagle Hotel & Casino
- Smarkets and Full House Resorts
- Stadium Technology and Monarch Casinos
- The Stars Group’s Fox Bet and Eldorado Resorts
- theScore Bet and Jacobs Entertainment
- William Hill and Eldorado Resorts
- SuperBook and The Lodge Casino
Under the law crafted by lawmakers and approved by voters via ballot initiative last November, the state collects taxes to the tune of 10 percent on a sportsbook’s “win” revenue. That rate compares favorably to the standard set by New Jersey, which levies an 8 percent tax on brick and mortar sportsbooks and 13 percent for their online / mobile extensions.
Pennsylvania, meanwhile, imposes an onerous tax rate of 36 percent which makes alternative markets like Colorado that much more appealing.
Officials Proud to Persevere Despite Impact of Covid Cancellations
Following the successful passage of sports betting regulation last year, Colorado set a launch deadline of May 1 – a date which made sense at the time.
But in the interim, the ongoing coronavirus outbreak has forced every sports league in America to suspend, postpone, or cancel their seasons.
In light of the lack of available betting markets, NBC 9-NEWS asked Suzanne Karrer – who serves as senior director of enforcement for the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Enforcement Division (CDRED) – why the state chose to hold firm on Friday’s launch timeline:
It is indeed a different environment to launch sports betting then we initially anticipated.
Suzanne Karrer, CDRED Senior Director
“It is indeed a different environment to launch sports betting then we initially anticipated.
It is our reality as regulators that we can get sports betting up and running for those that want to start right now, but the excitement of the new industry for Colorado is overshadowed by what is going on in the world right now. There will be a right time for fanfare surrounding this new form of entertainment in Colorado, but right now is not that time.
With that said, the Division is proud of the hard work and effort that went into establishing a robust sport betting industry in Colorado and excited for the launch on May 1, with four operators initially offering online options.
We look forward to additional operators and offerings becoming available in the weeks and months ahead.”
Karrer also made sure to let bettors know that the four sportsbooks up and running do indeed have select markets on the menu for immediate wagering:
“There are a few things you can put your money on now.
You could place a bet for the Broncos to win the Super Bowl next year. There are already prop bets for over/unders on receiving yards and touchdowns for Broncos first round draft pick Jerry Jeudy.
There are also live sporting options like table tennis in Moscow, Taiwanese baseball, or darts.”