For months, SuperBook USA targeted the start of the NFL regular season for its expansion beyond Nevada beginning with the rollout of a mobile sports betting app in Colorado.
But numerous complications, including the COVID-19 pandemic, multi-state considerations and the construction of a retail sportsbook inside The Lodge Casino in Black Hawk, have pushed back the timeline. When weighing the timing of the launch, according to SuperBook Executive Vice President of Operations Jay Kornegay, the company wanted to avoid releasing the app hastily.
“We didn’t just want to launch with any product,” Kornegay told CoBets. “We wanted to launch with an app that is a gold standard and user-friendly for our future players.”
A visually appealing product
The design of the SuperBook Colorado app has taken months to perfect, a process complicated by the once-in-a-century global pandemic. SuperBook USA, which is in the midst of expansion outside of Nevada, experimented with a variety of background colors and fonts in an effort to deliver an attractive layout. The sportsbook also focused on making the app easy to navigate in order to avoid losing customers to other books.
“We have some unique features on our app that you probably won’t find anywhere else,” Kornegay said.
All 33 commercial casinos in the state received license approval for sports betting from the Colorado Division of Gaming in time for Colorado’s debut on May 1. As of Sept. 2, a dozen mobile sportsbook operators offered online sports betting when theScore went live on Wednesday.
Hoping for mid-season SuperContest Reboot in Colorado this year.
— Jay Kornegay (@JayKornegay) August 21, 2020
Mile High SuperContest
A staple at the SuperBook for years, the company’s famed SuperContest paid out millions last year to winners in Nevada, including $1.46 million to the overall champion. The SuperBook may offer a contest this fall in Colorado, but for the second half of the NFL regular season only.
At the moment, weekly pick’em contests such as the one offered by the SuperBook have not been approved by the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (LGCC). There is still a possibility that the LGCC could approve the contests for the latter half of the NFL season, Colorado Division of Sports Betting spokesperson Suzi Karrer told CoBets.
“We have been approached by multiple operators to allow for betting pools, so we are addressing our contest rules through a permanent rule-making process,” Karrer said. “We have drafted the proposed language for the rule update and anticipate the rule-making process to take us into late fall.”
If the SuperBook offers the contest in Colorado this fall, the company will lower the entry fee considerably from the $1,500 in Nevada. Down the road, the SuperBook may increase the fee for the Colorado contest, but Kornegay indicated that the company wanted customers to become familiar with the contest first. Each contestant must pick five NFL teams per week by picking a winner against the SuperBook contest line.
“We lowered it (entry fee) because it’s a new market and we thought that $500 would be a lot more comfortable for this market,” Kornegay said.
Kornegay also noted that the regional bias among Denver Broncos‘ fans on the home team will represent the largest challenge for Colorado sportsbooks as the NFL kicks off. While books expect Colorado bettors to wager on the Broncos at a large clip, Kornegay warned operators from adjusting the lines too much to give sharp bettors an arbitrage opportunity.
For instance, many books have listed the Broncos as a 1.5 point favorite over the Tennessee Titans in Week 1 on Monday Night Football. Typically, when there is heavy action on a favorite, a book may look to correct the imbalance by increasing the spread. Adjusting the line by several points, though, creates an arbitrage possibility where a bettor can win by playing both sides — the Titans at +3.5 and Broncos at -1.5. In addition, a large percentage of Denver fans are expected to wager on the Broncos regardless of the spread, another consideration the books must take into account.
“You have to understand that it’s going to be your biggest decision each and every weekend,” Kornegay said. “You can’t put your fan hat on and be a bookmaker. You have to be a bookmaker with no hats at all.”
Following the SuperBook’s mobile launch, the company expects to open a retail sportsbook inside The Lodge in late October, Kornegay said.