Coloradans Will Have To Wait To Enter Premier NFL Pick ‘Em Contests

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Sports bettors in Colorado who thought they’d be able to take a crack at Las Vegas’ premier NFL pick ‘em contests, the Westgate SuperBook’s SuperContest and Circa’s Millions and Survivor competitions, will have to wait at least another year to do so within the state’s boundaries, as technological and regulatory issues have slowed the Rocky Mountain rollout.

To be fair, Circa has consistently maintained that it wasn’t yet prepared to fire up its NFL contests in Colorado. The company’s CEO, Derek Stevens, told CO Bets back in May, “We’re going to focus it in Nevada because you can’t cross-pollinate these pools.”

Circa’s sportsbook operations manager, Jeff Benson, recently affirmed Stevens’ statement, telling CO Bets, “There just isn’t enough regulatory clarity on contests across state lines.” He added that Circa would take a “wait-and-see approach” in determining whether it would be able to import its contests to Colorado in the near future. It’s worth noting that Coloradans can currently enter the Circa and SuperBook contests, but must travel to Vegas to register in person and employ a Nevada-based proxy to submit their weekly picks in order to comply with current state betting laws.

As for the SuperBook, it had intended to bring its SuperContest to Colorado this year, but it was forced to postpone the launch due to “technology delays” involving European platform providers, said Jay Kornegay, the sportsbook’s vice president of operations.

“Sports betting technology is very, very complicated and has a lot of nuances and variables,” Kornegay explained. “I believe it’s in its infant stages and has a long way to go to catch up with our thoughts, our minds, our needs. I think the platforms out there right now have a lot of work to do with the operators to get things more Americanized.

“The Nevada blueprint is more simplified — it’s not to the level of what we’re seeing in Europe and the UK and other parts of the world,” he added. “It’s very Americanized, especially on the customer side of things. On the back end, it’s fantastic. It’s really easy to operate. The reporting is fantastic and the compliance is Grade A. You go to the European side of things — it has a lot of whistles and bells, but it’s very complicated on the back end with the risk side and reporting side.”

To further illustrate his point, Kornegay said, “When we change a line in Nevada, it could take two or three clicks. With some of these other (i.e., European) platforms, it could take 10 or 12 clicks. Their soccer and tennis products are fantastic; we just need to get them over to the American sports side. A lot of this we’ve corrected already, but we’ve still got a long way to go.”

Goal is ‘one national SuperContest’

Despite the SuperBook’s inability to get the SuperContest up and running in Colorado this year, Kornegay remains supremely confident that Coloradans will be able to participate in 2022. Furthermore, while acknowledging the existence of some regulatory ambiguity that might currently prevent his sportsbook’s contest from hopping across state lines, Kornegay is relatively undeterred by it.

“We could start off in Colorado by operating the SuperContest with its own pools,” he said. “But the ultimate goal is to commingle these states and pools and operate one national SuperContest.”

The SuperBook is currently taking bets in Nevada and Colorado and is about to launch in New Jersey. In addition, Kornegay said he is expecting the book will launch operations in two to three more states by mid-2022.

Image: Shutterstock. This article was adjusted shortly after publication to more accurately reflect the ability of Colorado residents to enter the aforementioned contests in Nevada.

Mike Seely has written about horse racing for The Daily Racing Form and America’s Best Racing, and has contributed pieces on a multitude of topics to The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, among other publications. He can be reached at mseely@bettercollective.com.

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