Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission Issues Sports Betting Vendor Licenses To Buffalo Wild Wings, NBCUniversal

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Two prominent companies, NBCUniversal and Buffalo Wild Wings, received license approval from Colorado regulators on Thursday, highlighting licensing action during the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission’s monthly meeting.

Both companies were granted First Vendor Minor License approval at the LGCC’s September meeting, the first held by the commission since the start of the National Football League regular season. Last September, Buffalo Wild Wings entered into a sports betting partnership with BetMGM on the eve of the 2019 NFL season. Per state guidelines, the license allows Buffalo Wild Wings to market and serve as a Colorado sports betting affiliate of BetMGM, a sportsbook operator that began accepting wagers in the Centennial State on May 1.

“Fans looking to put action on the games can join us now and do so through BetMGM, and we’re excited to announce an exclusive sports betting experience with BetMGM in Colorado very soon,” Buffalo Wild Wings said in a statement provided to CoBets.

Wings, beer and a 3-team parlay

At the moment, Buffalo Wild Wings offers a free-to-play game in Colorado and across the country through its partnership with BetMGM. There are at least 10 Buffalo Wild Wings locations throughout the state, including several within miles of Empower Field at Mile High Stadium and Pepsi Center, the home of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche. The free contest is a parlay-driven game where fans can win rewards points, free wings, as well as a custom Hall of Fame bust that is awarded to participants for finishing with a perfect entry across a slate of games each day, Buffalo Wild Wings said.

Following last September’s announcement, Buffalo Wild Wings and BetMGM launched a pilot program in New Jersey that served as a trial run for the companies before expanding into other states. Several Buffalo Wild Wings locations in the Garden State promote the sports betting offerings with signage outside the restaurants. There is also geolocation technology available that can link a customer to the BetMGM betting app once it detects that a patron is inside a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant.

Another popular restaurant chain, Hooters, entered into a sports betting partnership with KonekTV and BetRivers in March, covering restaurants in three states — Indiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It is not clear in how many states Buffalo Wild Wings intends to offer sports betting experiences through its partnership with BetMGM by the end of the year.

The Peacock flies into Colorado

The LGCC also approved a license application from NBCUniversal Media, or NBC Sports, at Thursday’s meeting. Last month, PointsBet USA entered into a five-year agreement with NBCUniversal in a deal that designates the sportsbook operator as the official sports betting partner of NBC Sports. Under the deal, NBCUniversal is receiving a 4.99% equity stake in PointsBet, pending shareholder approval and 66.88 million PointsBet options maturing in five years, PointsBet said in a statement.

PointsBet, which operates its U.S. Western hub in Denver, has made waves in recent weeks with a litany of marketing deals. In August, PointsBet announced a multi-year partnership with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment in a deal that established the company as the exclusive sports betting partner of the Nuggets and Avalanche. PointsBet followed it up this month by signing a five-year corporate sponsorship deal with Learfield IMG College, under which the Australian sportsbook operator became a partner of University of Colorado Athletics.

Below is a list of other companies that received approval Thursday in the First Vendor Minor License category:

  • Solutions-II Inc.
  • Bulletproof Solutions Inc.
  • OLBG INC.
  • Outkick Media LLC
  • Maru Group LLC
  • Fortuna Edge Media Limited
  • The Moneyline LLC
  • CPX Interactive LLC
  • P & P Vegas Group Inc.

FOX Bet personality Clay Travis is the founder and lead writer of Outkick, formerly known as Outkick the Coverage.

Also on Thursday, the LGCC approved the renewal of Dostal Alley Casino’s retail gaming license. Dostal Alley also received approval for a First Master License at Thursday’s meeting, which will allow the saloon to conduct sports betting operations inside the Central City facility.

The LGCC spent a considerable amount of time at Thursday’s meeting discussing recent marketing partnerships between teams and sportsbook operators, including deals pertaining to the Denver Broncos and CU Buffaloes. State law currently prohibits sportsbooks from opening a sports betting kiosk inside an athletic venue. If a venue seeks to offer wagers through a physical kiosk it will require a legislative amendment, Commissioner Richard Nathan said.

The LGCC is scheduled to meet next on Oct. 15.

 

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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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