Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission Approves Real-Money Sports Betting Pick’em Contests

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The Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission approved amendments to two sports betting rules Thursday, enabling sportsbook operators to begin offering real-money sports wagering pools and contests by the second half of the NFL season.

The amended language allows sportsbooks to operate shared liquidity pools for weekly contests to be run as betting offerings. A previous incarnation of the rule, under Rule 6 of the Colorado Division of Gaming’s sports betting regulations, permitted sports wagering contests, but on a non-betting basis only.

The rule changes set the stage for SuperBook USA to begin offering its famed NFL SuperContest, which is currently only available in Nevada, as early as next month. The sportsbook plans to set an entry fee of $500 for the Colorado contest, SuperBook Executive VP of Operations Jay Kornegay told CoBets last month, to entice Colorado bettors to join the half-season version. The entry fee in Nevada for the 2020 SuperContest is $1,500.

Rocky Mountain SuperContest

In Nevada, the SuperBook will pay out more than 100 winners of the pick’em contest during the 2020 NFL season. Under a proposed payout structure, the SuperBook will award the top eight Nevada finishers with payouts of at least $115,000, including $1.47 million for the top finisher.

 

The amended rules allow sportsbook operators to receive a “rake,” or commission from the contests, Division of Gaming Director Dan Hartman said at Thursday’s meeting. The rake will be equivalent to the division’s net sports betting proceeds, Hartman noted, and will be taxed in Colorado. Before the SuperContest or other sports betting pools go live in Colorado, the contest operators need to gain approval from the Division of Gaming.

The LGCC also amended a gaming rule on Thursday related to the monetary threshold for patron disputes. The amendment increases the threshold for patron disputes to $1,250, from a previous minimum of $250. The rule change comes several weeks before Colorado residents are set to vote on a referendum on Amendment 77, a constitutional amendment that gives voters the option of changing or eliminating bet limits on table games.

Under Colorado law, sportsbook operators are able to set their own limits both on a retail and online basis.

Licensing action

During Thursday’s meeting, the LGCC approved the First Master Licenses pertaining to sports betting for Lady Luck Casino and Isle Casino, both located in Black Hawk. William Hill made its Colorado debut in July with the opening of several kiosks inside the two Black Hawk casinos. Last month, Caesars Entertainment Inc. announced that it agreed on terms to acquire William Hill for $3.7 billion, in a move aimed at expanding its retail and mobile sports betting reach throughout the U.S.

In April, owners of the casinos informed the Colorado Department of Labor of plans to furlough nearly 500 workers due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The LGCC also awarded First Vendor Minor Licenses to more than a dozen companies, highlighted by ESPN Enterprises Inc. and Topgolf Media LLC.

Other companies awarded a First Vendor Minor Licenses on Thursday:

  • Mush Media LLC
  • Rock Intention Malta Limited
  • Prizeout Corp.
  • Outbrain Inc.
  • Slovenian Institute of Quality and Metrology, Ljubljana

The LGCC is scheduled to meet next on Nov. 19

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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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