Circa Sports Receives Internet Sports Betting License At Colorado LGCC Meeting

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Colorado regulators approved a handful of sports betting-related license applications on Thursday, including an internet sports betting operator license for Circa Sports Colorado LLC.

The licensing action comes as Las Vegas-based Circa Sports continues a determined push to make inroads in the Centennial State. Last month, Circa Sports Owner and CEO Derek Stevens appeared at a watch party outside Coors Field in an attempt to learn more about the Colorado market as Circa tries to ramp up its customer acquisition strategies. Unlike several major national sportsbooks, Circa eschews promotional activity for a low-hold, high-limit strategy, one it believes caters to VIP sharp players and recreational bettors alike.

Back in Nevada, Circa is gearing up for its third incarnation of an annual season-long NFL contest that will begin during the opening week of the NFL season. For now, Circa is limiting the contest to its Nevada properties only. Although the contest is not available within Colorado state lines, Colorado bettors can sign up in person in Las Vegas, a flight of about two hours from Denver.

The meeting of the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (LGCC) on Thursday took place in person at a Colorado history museum in Denver. It marked the first time that the majority of commission members convened in the same room for a monthly meeting since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning last spring, the commission held the meetings remotely through a digital platform.

The LGCC issued a Temporary Internet Sports Betting Operator License to Circa in April 2020. Circa gained entry into the Colorado sports betting market with a 15-year market access deal with Century Casinos Inc. in Feb. 2020.

Other licensing action

The LGCC also issued several license renewals on Thursday at the commission’s June monthly meeting. Holland Ventures Inc. received a license renewal for J.P. McGill’s Hotel & Casino in the Retail and Master License category. The owners of two other Cripple Creek casinos — Midnight Rose Hotel & Casino and Brass Ass Casino — also received retail and master license renewals on Thursday. The renewals in the licensing category cover a two-year period.

In addition, the LGCC approved several sports betting-related licenses in the First Vendor Minor License category. Notably, the commission issued a vendor license to Bleacher Report, as well as a license to Kenny Smith LLC. Smith, a two-time NBA Champion with the Houston Rockets, who is a prominent basketball studio analyst with Turner Sports.

Turner acquired Bleacher Report in 2012 for a reported price in the range of $175-$200 million. Following DraftKings‘ public market debut in April 2020, rumors surfaced that the Boston-headquartered sportsbook and fantasy sports operator made inquiries into acquiring Bleacher Report. At the time, Turner dismissed the reports as “misguided speculation,” while claiming that the sports website was not for sale.

Other approvals Thursday in the First Vendor Minor License category:

  • Stram Entertainment Limited TotalReach LLC
  • Cardinal Marketing LLC
  • StreamLayer Inc.
  • Limitlex Inc.
  • ForumPay
  • 72A Saturn Global LTD
  • All Time Sports LLC
  • Fantasy Sports Company
  • Triller Fight Club LLC
  • Leadstar Media AB

Minor table games rules adoptions

The LGCC also approved minor rules changes for several casino games at Thursday’s meeting. One rule change allows casinos to offer a triple-zero wheel in roulette, in addition to the single-zero and double-zero varieties. If a roulette ball comes to rest in an area marked double-zero (00) or triple-zero (000), the spin will be declared void and the wheel will be re-spun, according to Colorado Division of Gaming regulations.

“EACH TRIPLE ZERO ROULETTE WHEEL SHALL HAVE 39 EQUALLY SPACED COMPARTMENTS AROUND THE WHEEL WHERE THE ROULETTE BALL SHALL COME TO REST. THE ROULETTE WHEEL SHALL ALSO HAVE A RING OF 39 EQUALLY SPACED AREAS TO CORRESPOND TO THE POSITION OF THE COMPARTMENTS WITH ONE MARKED ZERO (0) AND COLORED GREEN, ONE MARKED DOUBLEZERO (00) AND COLORED GREEN, ONE MARKED TRIPLE ZERO (000) AND COLORED GREEN, AND THE OTHERS MARKED 1 TO 36 AND COLORED ALTERNATELY RED AND BLACK, WHICH NUMBERS SHALL BE ARRANGED AROUND THE WHEEL UNLESS OTHERWISE APPROVED BY THE DIRECTOR OR DESIGNEE. THE COLOR OF EACH COMPARTMENT SHALL EITHER BE A CORRESPONDING COLOR TO THOSE DEPICTED ON THE RING OR A NEUTRAL COLOR AS APPROVED BY THE DIRECTOR OR DESIGNEE.”

Rule 30-2210: Roulette table. Section 2 (C).

The addition of a triple-zero increases a casino’s house edge from 5.26% to 7.69%, Colorado Table Games Chairman Bradley Nelson said at the meeting. Triple-zero roulette is referred to pejoratively as the “gambler discomfort zone,” according to Las Vegas gaming website Vital Vegas.com.

Commissioner Tim Carlson’s tenure on the LGCC is set to expire on July 1. Carlson, Chief of Police for the Westminster Police Department, was recognized on Thursday by the commission during his final meeting in the position. The LGCC is scheduled to meet next on July 15.

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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