First SI Sportsbook In U.S. Goes Live In Colorado

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888 Holdings Inc., in partnership with Authentic Brands Group’s Sports Illustrated, launched its new sports betting platform, SI Sportsbook, on Sept. 7. And through the first week, moneyline and spread bets were the most popular, while pre-game bets made up the majority of wagering, a representative said. The most bet-on game of Week 1 of the NFL season was Sunday night’s Chicago Bears vs. Los Angeles Rams game.

SI Sportsbook has market access via the Colorado Grande Casino in Cripple Creek. Colorado is the first state where the partnership will go live. While 888 is already live online in New Jersey under its own brand, it has plans to roll out the SI Sportsbook in the Garden State, Indiana, and Iowa going forward.

The Colorado platform “incorporates betting information and insights into SI.com in a seamless way, weaving dynamic odds into content, adding contextually relevant betting widgets that display odds, educational betting tools, free2play games and other engagement tools,” according to an 888 spokesperson.

Latest example of media and wagering intersection

SI Sportsbook is offering new customers $50 in free bets when they create an account and place a wager of $10 or more and will give three-leg parlay winners (Friday-Sunday) an extra $20 in free bets. The bookmaker will also offer boosted odds on different games in different markets going forward.

The new platform will use official league data, according to the companies — whether or not that is required in any of the states in which it will go live. The partnership is the latest example of the intersection of sports and sports betting, and comes on the heels of a Wall Street Journal report that ESPN is seeking to sell rights to use its name to sportsbooks for $3 billion.

ESPN already has  gaming deals with Caesars and DraftKings this year. Under the agreements, Caesars will provide betting data and odds across ESPN platforms and DraftKings is the network’s daily fantasy partner.

Mountain Ute open new retail book

The SI Sportsbook was one of two new products in the Colorado market in the last month. The Mountain Ute tribe opened the state’s second retail tribal sportsbook on Aug. 24, with a digital platform to come during the NFL season. According toThe Journal, the new brick-and-mortar location has four kiosks, three betting stations, and a cage to handle big-money wagers. The Mountain Ute are also offering on-site sports betting classes. The tribe partnered with former Broncos wide receiver Ed McCaffrey as a spokesman.

International Gaming Technology is running the Mountain Ute’s sportsbook operations. The new digital platform will be called “UteBet.” According to The Journal, the tribe is negotiating with the state to avoid paying taxes. When Coloradans legalized sports betting in November 2019, tax dollars were earmarked for the state’s water plan, but the tribe doesn’t use state water.

Jill has covered everything from steeplechase to the NFL and then some during a more than 30-year career in sports journalism. The highlight of her career was covering Oakland Raiders during the Charles Woodson/Jon Gruden era, including the infamous “Snow Bowl” and the Raiders’ 2003 trip to Super Bowl XXXVII. Her specialty these days is covering sports betting legislation across the country.

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