Colorado Continues Work Ahead Of May 1 Sports Betting Launch

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With less than two months before the May 1 launch for sports betting in the state of Colorado, the Limited Gaming Control Commission (LGCC) has been trying to process as many of the 60 applications submitted.

Currently, 10 casinos have been granted Master licenses among the 13 overall licenses granted since Proposition DD narrowly passed last November to allow sports betting in the Centennial State. The LGCC is expected to grant as many as 33 licenses for physical and online sportsbooks in Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek — all of which were designated as cities to host gambling when it was legalized in 1991.

The next scheduled meeting for license approvals is set for March 19, though that is subject to change given the ongoing dealings of state agencies in response to the coronavirus.

Already approved, DraftKings awaits OK for retail partner

DraftKings Sportsbook and theScore were the first to receive temporary licenses as Internet Operators in a specially scheduled session earlier this month, and Premier Entertainment Black Hawk — owned by Twin River World Holding — will have its three casinos up for First Master License approval next week at Mardi Gras, Golden Gulch, and Golden Gate casinos.

Five casinos — Monarch, Saratoga, Ameristar, Isle, and Lady Luck — in Black Hawk had been granted licenses across the two previous sessions. Lady Luck and Isle are Eldorado Properties, while Ameristar will be operated by Penn National.

The Brass Ass, J.P. McGillis, Midnight Rose, and Double Eagle all have received approval to offer sports betting in Cripple Creek and could be joined by Bronco Billy’s as its three casinos — including Christmas Casino and Billy’s Caasino owned by FHR-Colorado LLC — are also up for approval. Bronco Billy’s Casino and Hotel reached an agreement last November to have BetAmerica, run by Churchill Downs Incorporated, operate its sportsbook.

FanDuel, PointsBet, FoxBet all up for internet operator licenses

Following DraftKings and theScore into Colorado’s mobile sports betting market, FanDuel, PointsBet, and FoxBet could receive their temporary Internet Sports Betting Operator License at next week’s hearing. FanDuel, along with DraftKings, had reached an agreement with Twin River World Holding’s in January to operate two of their three online “skins.”

PointsBet, which has a second U.S.-based headquarters in Denver, is also up for a temporary Sports Betting Operator license to operate Double Eagle’s retail sportsbook in Cripple Creek. Dostal Alley remains the lone casino in Central City approved for sports wagering.

Vendors up for licensing

In addition to the sports betting licenses, up to six vendor licenses could be granted at the next meeting. BetWorks, Stadium Technology, and Sports Information Services are up for Vendor Major licenses while OBeP Payments, PopOdds, and Fan Leads could be approved for First Vendor Minor licenses.

Chris Altruda has been a sportswriter with ESPN, The Associated Press, and STATS over more than two decades. He recently expanded into covering sports betting and gambling around the Midwest.

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