Colorado is Now Set to Issue the First Few Sports Betting Licenses in the State

Interior of sports book gambling


Colorado has signed sports betting into law in November of last year after the state’s voters approved Proposition DD which allows a gambling expansion in the state, including sports betting and eSports. 

Based on the passed proposition, there will be a 10 percent tax on all gambling activities in the state. The tax revenue, which is estimated to be around 29 million US dollars each year, will be allotted to the state’s water plan. 

Colorado is just one of the now 20 states that have already signed sports betting into law. The push for betting legalization in these states all started after the Supreme Court of the United States ruled the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 as unconstitutional. 

PASPA has been the reason why the majority of the states in the US can’t regulate sports betting for the longest time. New Jersey had to challenge this act before the Supreme Court declared its ruling in May 2018.

Some of the 20 states that have already signed betting into law haven’t launched betting just yet and so the locals are either waiting or still placing their bets on neighboring states with legal betting or on offshore-based online casinos using apps like the NairaBet Mobile App

However, Colorado locals may not have to wait much longer as the state is scheduled to launch both in-person and online betting operations on May 1 of this year and the state is already getting ready. Part of this is how the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission is gearing up to issue licenses next week. 

A total of seven casinos in the state are expected to be granted master licenses to be able to operate in-person and online betting systems. The license require land casinos to partner up with online betting operators to have their services available on the internet. 

The seven casinos that will receive the licenses next week are the following:

  • Saratoga Casino, Black Hawk
  • Monarch Casino Resort Spa, Black Hawk
  • Central City’s Dostal Alley Casino
  • Brass Casino, Central City
  • J.P. McGill’s Hotel and Casino, Cripple Creek
  • Midnight Rose Hotel and Casino, Cripple Creek
  • Double Eagle Hotel and Casino, Cripple Creek

It’s still unknown whether these casinos will start to take bets as soon as betting is launched in the state on May 1. However, some of these casinos have already found their online partners. 

The Double Eagle Hotel and Casino in Cripple Creek is partnering up with PointsBet to offer their online services. Saratoga Casino in Black Hawk has also announced its partnership with BetFred, a British bookmaker aiming to penetrate the US betting market as it gets bigger. 

Century Casino, on the other hand, also signed an agreement with Circa Sports Colorado LLC that will last for 15 years. Circa Sports is a betting business run by a Las Vegas developer and casino owner named Derek Stevens. It will be the digital partner of Century Casinos that are based in Cripple Creek and Central City. 

The Twin River Worldwide Holdings that manages the Golden Gates, Golden Gulch and Mardis Gras Casinos in Black Hawk also announced its partners in January. Twin River is partnering with two of the Industry’s giants, FanDuel and DraftKings. It will be DraftKings that will run the retail sportsbook in Mardi Gras. 

Dostal Alley is considering the option to operate both in-person and online betting, but it still hasn’t found a partner yet, according to its co-owner, Buddy Schmalz. Schmalz said that they may have a tough time looking for a partner given the time they have left until the launch of betting in Colorado. When asked about the possibility of getting approved licenses for both in-person and online betting operations licenses, he said, “My guess is it is really tough given the time frame and whoever we partner up with.”

The majority of the license applicants are still figuring out what to offer to the state of Colorado, but it’s likely that they will focus on online wagering. After all, about 90 percent of the US gambling revenues are made online. 

New Jersey is one of the top runners in the country when it comes to sports betting revenues. Last month, this state took over 500 million Us dollars of bets and around 87 percent of these bets over 400 million US dollars are made online. It just makes sense that Colorado casinos will go after digital betting as the online market is really big. 

Overall, the state’s gaming commission received over 50 sports betting license applications since the application period started in November of last year. 


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