Colorado Sports Betting Launches Despite CoronavirusPublished May 4, 2020 by Elana K
On Friday, May 1, 4 Colorado sports betting launched despite the obvious setback of the coronavirus. eSports is the main offering, including Call of Duty, Dota2, Counter-Strike, E-Nascar and League of Legends.
Colorado sportsbetting has launched even though there are very few sports to bet on. Wagering on sports was legalized in November 2019 through a state-wide referendum in which a narrow majority of residents (50.8 percent) voted for the legislature to approve it. The Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission set a deadline of May 1, and it did everything in its power to meet that deadline, despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus.
On Friday, May 1, 4 sportsbooks went live and an additional 13 licensed sportsbooks are waiting for their chance. The 4 sportsbooks that launched are FanDuel, in partnership with Twin River’s Golden Gate Casino, DraftKings, in partnership with Twin River’s Mardi Gras Casino, BetMGM, in partnership with Triple Crown’s Midnight Rose Hotel & Casino, and Rush Street Interactive, in partnership with Triple Crown’s JP McGill’s Hotel & Casino.
Among the sportsbooks that have already received licenses but haven’t launched yet are JointsBet, which has an agreement with Double Eagle Hotel & Casino, and William Hill, which has an agreement with Isle of Capri and Lady Luck Casinos.
Up and Running Despite the Challenges
Despite the halt of American sports, Coloradans can get a jump start on some of the sparse, yet creative, offerings from the 4 live sportsbooks. eSports is the main attraction for sports bettors during this pandemic, and Colorado’s sportsbooks offer several options, including Call of Duty, Dota2, Counter-Strike, E-Nascar and League of Legends. Very wisely, Colorado legislation does not require in-person deposits or registration - everything can be done online. The only downside is that bettors must be 21 to bet in Colorado, unlike other states, which have set the minimum age at 18.
While the launch certainly didn’t come at the ideal time, at least Colorado’s sportsbooks will have some experience under their belts once national sports leagues eventually do resume playing. Under normal circumstances, Colorado sportsbetting has the potential to generate up to $6 billion in bets and $40 million in tax revenue annually.