March 4th industry bulletin notified both operators and the general public of the new policy.
Colorado sports bettors may have noticed throughout the month of March that wagers related to sports activities involving Russia and Belarus are no longer available in the legal CO sports betting market.
On March 4th, the Colorado Department of Revenue, through its Special Business Group that oversees gaming activities, published a press release outlining the new policy.
The statement reads:
“In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Colorado Division of Gaming issued an industry bulletin today suspending all Russian and Belarussian governing bodies, leagues, teams, players, and events from the Official Sports Betting Catalog of Events and Wagers.“
This Colorado sports betting policy change became effective at 5:00 PM MST on Saturday, March 5th, according to the statement.
March Madness betting soars as MLB prepares for Opening Day
Despite the suspension of real money wagers on Russian and Belarussian teams and players within the state of Colorado, there remain a number of extremely attractive events for residents and visitors in CO to bet on.
All Colorado-based Division I NCAA teams have already been eliminated in both the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, but the Final Four is now upon us and Colorado sportsbooks have new customers covered with numerous welcome bonuses and promotions that can be obtained when signing up for a new account through COBets.
DraftKings CO is offering new customers in the state of Colorado a one-time, $50 free bet along with a 20% first deposit match bonus up to $1,000. The BetMGM Online Colorado Sportsbook currently has an offer through COBets that grants new verified account the privilege of making a one-time free bet up to $1,000 — a welcome offer that is also being awarded by TwinSpires Sportsbook CO.
Colorado regulators mixing policy with politics? (opinion)
Fortunately for many of us here in North America, we do not have a first-hand, intimate view of the tragedy currently taking place in Ukraine as a result of the Russian invasion — which commenced on February 24th of this year.
However, from what can be concluded via publicly available information plus around the clock news coverage, it appears very clear (even from an inferior, non first-hand view) that sports activities in Ukraine have, at least temporarily, taken a “back seat” to current events and uncertainties within the sovereign jurisdiction.
And as a result, teams, players, venues, governing bodies, as well as the industry as a whole are currently unable to compete in, perform in, or host popular sports activities at this time.
So perhaps the recent decision by the Colorado Division of Gaming to suspend wagers related to Russian and Belarussian sports activities increases awareness of this reality?
“The Division of Gaming also encouraged sports betting operations to review their offerings and suspend any other governing bodies, leagues, players, teams, and events representing Russia and Belarus,” reads the regulatory statement from March 4th.
Our readers are also invited to view a recent statement published by COBets’ parent company Better Collective that relates to this story.
With that communicated, Colorado sports bettors who participate in the legal, regulated market should be aware that the Division of Gaming’s decision has resulted in a partially reduced sports betting catalog. A decision that impacts all retail and online sportsbooks that operate throughout the state. Sportsbooks often pride themselves on offering a full array of wagering options related to sporting events that occur on a worldwide scale.
And while other states that have formally legalized sports betting in their respective jurisdictions may enact their own policies related to current events in Ukraine that are a result of the Russian invasion, other states may not.
Therefore, it may be a good idea to review information beforehand if you are traveling to another state that offers legal sports betting, to decipher whether or not Russian and Belarussian sports bets have been suspended in that jurisdiction.
In the meantime, in Colorado at least, all bets are off for Russian and Belarussian sports activities.