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Optimism And Some Big Players Characterize Colorado’s Impending Sports Betting Launch

Despite the planet remaining in a relative coronavirus holding pattern, the Colorado sports betting scene continues to plow forward with a tentative May 1 launch date. Approval to forge ahead with their version of a legal betting platform came to Colorado in November 2019 in a surprisingly close vote. Even though dotting a few "I's" and crossing a few "T's" is still in the works, it appears as though the fanatical fanbase of the state are ready to bet on their favorite team, and that Colorado is poised to become the 18th state in the nation to go forward with a legal sports betting platform.

Lawmakers and regulators have been wearing many hats the last few months, running their states, navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and finalizing regulations for the legal sports betting industry. Optimism has been a theme in Colorado since November and with some of the biggest providers in the industry lining up to get their piece of the enormous earning potential, the arrow should continue to point up in the Colorado sports betting scene.

What legal sports betting means for Colorado

Colorado is a huge sports state, and as home of the NFL's Denver Broncos, the NBA's Denver Nuggets, MLB's Colorado Rockies and the NHL's Colorado Avalanche, there will be no shortage of betting action.

When the sports world comes back online, it is estimated that the state of Colorado will bring in $6 billion per year. The platform will be taxed at 10% and the revenue generated will be used for programs in the state. By doing the math, one can see the result being millions each year being contributed to state coffers to be used in the betterment of its people.

What Colorado has done right

Colorado looks as though it has taken all of the current legal sports betting platforms, thrown them in a blender and extracted the best of each for their version of a legal sports betting platform.

Actual brick-and-mortar facilities will be limited to three towns in the Rockies, Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek meaning that a strong and robust mobile betting scene will be essential to maximize revenues. And that is what Colorado has done – making mobile betting, including remote areas accessible and allowing potential bettors to sign up remotely using digital user registration. Translation – users won’t have to visit a physical casino to obtain a betting app.

Jay Kornegay, the VP of race and sports operations for the Westgate, explains, “The casinos operating in Colorado are in remote areas, unlike Nevada and the Strip. They are mountain towns, so the remote signup option Coloradans have for mobile apps is vital. To have that convenience of signing up for a mobile app from your couch rather than go to a physical location as you do in Nevada is big … Most of our handle, 95 percent will be mobile” in the state.

There will be 33 casinos in the state, but mobile betting has been identified as and will be the main way that bettors play. Lawmakers and regulators in Colorado look as though they have done their homework, studying the most successful bet-friendly states in the union – each has over 80% of their monthly handles coming from apps.

SuperBook brings credibility

All of the big casino operators will be present in Colorado once everything on our planet returns to normal.

The SuperBook, one of Las Vegas' most iconic sports betting brands and home of the famous NFL handicapping contest SuperContest announced Monday it is making its first foray outside of Nevada with its partnership with Jacobs Entertainment, Inc., to operate a retail and mobile sportsbook out of The Lodge Casino in Black Hawk, Colorado.

"It's very exciting," Jay Kornegay, vice president of the SuperBook in Las Vegas, said. "This will be our first outlet outside of Nevada. It's certainly a new challenge for us, but the whole team is excited to expand the SuperBook brand."

Coming from Nevada, where mobile betting still has a lot of catching up to do, SuperBook has some work ahead, sharpening up their app so they can compete with some of the biggest names in gambling.

Reality sets in

May 1 has been identified as the launch date for the Colorado sports betting scene and for Superbook but both may be getting a little bit ahead of themselves. Jay Kornegay recently acknowledged that: “Our initial plan was to launch mobile May 1 to match Colorado sports betting. Unfortunately, we’re dealing with unforeseen circumstances, which is hindering the launch. We’re ready to operate, one, when we know it’s safe for everyone, and two, at least one major league restarts play or starts play. Those two things have to happen.”

So, although the appetite for legal sports betting is huge in Colorado, the current state of our planet threatens to derail any ideas of a strong launch in the state. But with all of its ducks in a row for “When” our world returns to normality, the future Colorado sports betting scene looks to be in great shape.