Monarch Monday?: Company Pushes Colorado Sports Betting Launch

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Monarch Casino intended to roll out its new mobile sportsbook Friday, in time for a highly anticipated UFC event this weekend that figures to draw the largest handle of any live sport since the COVID-19 pandemic hit U.S. soil.

Mixed-martial arts fans will have to wait until next week before placing any wagers at BetMonarch.  The casino is delaying the launch of the mobile betting app until Monday as it completes some final behind-the-scenes work with technology provider Stadium Technology Group, a source told COBets. The new launch is now expected to occur two days before a second MMA event, UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira, May 13, in Jacksonville, Fla.

BetMonarch will likely be the fifth mobile sports betting app to go live in Colorado. DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and BetRivers all made their Colorado debuts on May 1, the first day operators could legally accept a sports wager within state lines.

In-house operations

Besides its mobile offering, Monarch Casino will launch a retail sportsbook — it’s one of 33 Colorado casinos that was awarded a Master Sports Betting License. The Black Hawk venue will have the distinction of operating the only in-house sportsbook in Colorado. Unlike its competitors, the Monarch sportsbook will not be powered by a large, multi-state operator, giving it the flexibility of setting its own lines and developing a custom risk-management strategy.

“Colorado is a state with a deep sports history and fandom,” Monarch Chief Operating Officer David Farahi told COBets. “We are excited to be able to add this exciting new offering for our guests at the new Monarch Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk, as well as through our mobile app, BetMonarch.”

Due to the spread of COVID-19, all 33 retail casinos remain closed under orders from Colorado Gov. Jared Polis.

“This is something that is going to be with us for many months to come, and while the last two months might seem like years in our lives, in the scheme of things it’s two months,” Polis said at a May 6 news conference.

Monarch officials initially hoped to have the mobile app ready for Saturday’s UFC 249, also being held in Jacksonville.

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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