Sweden Sports Betting Operator Betsson To Push Back Colorado Debut Until First Quarter Of 2022

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Betsson AB, a Swedish-based sports betting and online casino operator, plans to make its U.S. debut in Colorado during the first quarter of 2022, the company said last week during its third-quarter earnings conference call.

When Colorado regulators approved a temporary Internet Sports Betting Operator license for Betsson last December, the company targeted the first half of 2021 for a go-live date in the Centennial State. But the debut has been pushed back amid an intense period for Betsson in meeting reporting requirements from various regulators, as well as detailed testing protocols related to its technology platform, according to the company.

Betsson’s adapted sportsbook for the U.S. market is to go through a testing and certification phase starting in the present quarter, and it is expected to last approximately three to four months, the company said.

Optimism surrounding Strive platform

Speaking of the company’s continued U.S. investments last week, Betsson noted that its U.S.-adapted sportsbook has been integrated into a tech infrastructure constructed by platform technology provider Strive Platform Limited. In turn, the Strive platform was certified by Colorado regulators during the third quarter, Betsson said. In April, Betsson purchased a 35% stake in Strive for $6.5 million.

The Colorado launch is largely viewed as a trial balloon for Betsson’s eventual expansion throughout the U.S. Once Betsson rolls out a business-to-consumer (B2C) platform in Colorado, the company then plans on building on its business-to-business (B2B) offerings, with a focus on its in-house sportsbook product.

The company has not disclosed the other states it will target for U.S. expansion, but it has expressed an interest in potential commercial opportunities in Ontario. The largest province in Canada is set to launch a private iGaming market in the coming weeks, perhaps as early as next month. As part of a recent global acquisition spree aimed at expanding sports betting and iGaming offerings, Betsson has also acquired a 28% stake in Canadian startup company Slapshot Media.

As of Thursday, more than two dozen retail and online sportsbooks offered legal sports betting across Colorado. The state has been lauded for creating an open marketplace that is generally viewed as one of the most diverse nationwide. Unlike some states, the Colorado framework has received high marks from bettors as the state’s competitive environment has compelled operators to offer a bevy of promotions for customer-acquisition purposes.

Colorado went live on May 1, 2020, when four prominent sportsbook operators — BetMGM, BetRivers, DraftKings, and FanDuel — rolled out state-focused mobile sports betting apps at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Betsson gained market access in Colorado through an online partnership with Dostal Alley Casino and Brewpub in Central City.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, Betsson reported group revenue of SEK 1,733.3, an increase of 3% from the same period a year ago.

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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