State of Play: Colorado Sports Betting

Betting Jobs consider the recent launch of legal betting in Colorado, and what that may entail for customers and operators.

When legalising sports betting in November 2019 and pencilling in their May 1st 2020 start date, very few could have predicted the circumstances in which Colorado’s launch would take place. That being said, the initial reports and information give much cause for optimism and confidence. All the more impressive considering that the Denver Nuggets are still several weeks from returning to the court, and the first Colorado casino floors only began to reopen from mid-June.

The foresight to launch with mobile and remote online capability has paid off already, with an initial $25.5m in handle being reported by the state Department of Revenue for the month of May. That handle, in a month without a single offline bet being placed and live sport offerings minimal, is cause for confidence.

The Betfred sportsbook in Saratoga has now taken its first in-person bet, unsurprisingly on the Broncos wearing championship rings at the end of the upcoming season. A true landmark for gaming in state, capitalised on with the inevitable superfan photo opportunity that we rightly expect.

With DraftKings, FanDuel, betMGM and BetRivers live online on the day of launch and joined within a matter of weeks by BetMonarch and FoxBet, the wider industry and established platforms recognise the value in being live early. The thirty-three master licenses available have attracted most, if not all, of the active legal operators in the States and more brand launches are in the offing. Indeed, even in more recent weeks news has arrived of Nevada-based Circa Sports launching their own app – in addition to European attention from both Betsson & Gaming Innovation Group.

Performing well with only niche international markets available to attract wagers throughout May, the next few months require close attention. The NBA restart will likely attract local interest backing the Nuggets (or not…). Competitive golf is a welcome sight on our screens again, even if lacking in the Tiger, Phil and Tom Brady smack talk that we were rationed during lockdown. However, the real boom in weekly activity when the Broncos and co return for the 20/21 NFL season is where the real marker of market performance will most likely be found.

From our point of view, the market launch and visible steps back towards regular sportsbook activity is welcome news. We have taken the keys for our North American office (in Hoboken, New Jersey) and are already seeing hiring processes gather pace again in multiple states. When long-distance travel across the pond is back in full swing, we look forward to more regular travel.

Our network with long-term operators, from Nevada and across to the east coast, as well as strong links with the international platform providers powering many brands, place us in a valuable position. The intricacies of regulation across all states demand knowledge and domain expertise in their navigation, and we see much of our hiring in this direction. Colorado is no exception, and we are in conversation with many as they prioritise their hiring requirements post-launch.

We continue to encourage conversation beyond solely recruitment requirements and the intricacies of job specifications. As with any invested party in the continued expansion of legal betting & gaming in North America, we welcome insight on the challenges facing operators and suppliers. We are no different, and are enjoying increasing our ground-level appreciation of industry movement from our viewpoint in Hoboken.

If you are operating in Colorado, supplying those who do, placing your own wagers or merely observing the betting market growing in state – we’re keen to talk!

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