Betsson, 888Sport Receive Colorado Sports Betting Licenses At Final LGCC Meeting Of 2020

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Two prominent international gaming operators with an extensive footprint outside the U.S. received licensing approval on Thursday in Colorado signifying their continued expansion throughout the U.S. domestic sports betting market.

Colorado regulators approved temporary Internet Sports Betting Operator licenses for Betsson and 888Sport at the December meeting of the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (LGCC). The meeting, held remotely via a digital webinar, marked the LGCC’s last meeting of the calendar year.

For 888 Holdings, the parent company of 888Sport, the license approval represents the first positive developments for its U.S. division since the company announced a three-year market access agreement on Dec. 2. As part of the agreement, 888 Holdings will launch in Cripple Creek under a partnership with Colorado Grande Casino. The company also unveiled partnerships with casinos in Iowa and Indiana on the same date.

Betsson AB, a holding company that is listed on the NASDAQ Stockholm exchange, announced an agreement to enter the Colorado market in June through a partnership with Dostal Alley Casino and Brewpub in Central City. Betsson intends to launch in Colorado during the first half of 2021, representing its entry into the U.S. market.

Eventually, Betsson intends to market their proprietary sportsbook technology platform to other sportsbook operators as a Business-to-Business (B2B) product, Betsson CEO Pontus Lindwall told CoBets in June.

Expected uptick in sports betting revenue

Despite the continued spread of COVID-19, Colorado is coming off a two-month period when overall handle eclipsed $200 million on consecutive months. In October, Colorado bettors wagered $210.7 million at the state’s legal sportsbooks, resulting in gross gaming revenue of $17.4 million. Colorado sportsbooks recorded a win percentage of 8.26% on the month, resulting in total taxes of $824,700.

A month earlier, during the unprecedented intersection of all four major U.S. professional sports leagues, the September handle came in at $207.7 million, an increase of 61% over the prior month.

While Colorado Division of Gaming Director Dan Hartman did not provide exact figures for November, he said Thursday that preliminary data indicated that sports betting revenues increased on a month-to-month basis. The win rate, Hartman noted, remained steady.

The state’s sports betting taxes collected for Fiscal Year 2021 through Oct. 31, 2020, were about $1.31 million, representing about 77% of the budgeted sports betting tax revenue for the fiscal year, said Eric Shannon, an accountant for the Division of Gaming. Sports betting operation fees (collected from licensed sportsbooks) were about $1.6 million, accounting for 72% of the total fiscal year budgeted amount, he added.

At the same time, the state’s total sports betting expenditures were about $550,000, representing about 18.5% of the fiscal year budget. The excess of revenues over expenditures for the fiscal year is at about $2.5 million, Shannon said, representing 157% of the budgeted amount.

Other licensing actions

In total, the LGCC approved more than a dozen sports betting-related licenses on Thursday, including the First Licensing of the Master Sports Betting License for Kings, Queens, and Jacks LLC aka Saratoga Casino Black Hawk. The retail casino has a mobile sports betting partnership with Betfred USA.

The LGCC also approved a Temporary Vendor Major license for White Hat Gaming Inc. European-based White Hat Gaming is known mostly for its partnership with Penn National Gaming, under which it provides PAM (player account management) solutions for the Barstool Sportsbook app.

Licensees approved Thursday in the Vendor Minor category:

  • Sports Gambling Guides LLC
  • iGaming.com America Inc.
  • Your Fielder’s Choice LLC
  • Bob Menery Productions
  • 3312276 Nova Scotia Limited

The LGCC’s first meeting on the 2021 calendar is scheduled for Jan. 15

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Matt is a veteran writer with a specific focus on the emerging sports gambling market. During Matt's two decade career in journalism, he has written for the New York Times, Forbes, The Guardian, Reuters and CBSSports.com among others. In his spare time, Matt is an avid reader, a weekend tennis player and a frequent embarrassment to the sport of running.

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