- Sports betting launched in Colorado on May 1, 2020
- Colorado’s casinos remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic but mobile sports betting is available.
- BetMonarch is the fifth mobile betting app to go live in Colorado.
We’ve been telling you for over a year now how sports betting is absolutely going to blow up in Colorado. Their ability to go from Governor Jared Polis signing it into law to actually launching sports betting in the state without diluting the product has been phenomenal. Equally as impressive–the Colorado Division of Gaming offices have been closed since March 17 as part of a statewide lockdown but working remotely they got all of the regulations finalized, all of the licensing in place and finalized the sports catalog. They’ve done a better job working from home and meeting via streaming video than the majority of state gaming regulators in the US are able to do under the best of circumstances. Hopefully, the people of Colorado appreciate just how off the charts impressive their gaming regulators have been over the past few months.
Due to circumstances beyond their control (ie: that COVID-19 thing) the launch of sports betting in Colorado was more of a ‘soft launch’. Four betting apps were available on ‘opening day’ May 1: BetRivers, BetMGM, FanDuel and DraftKings. Since none of the state’s casinos are open it’s difficult to assess if there are any retail sportsbooks ready to launch or close to it. Since they weren’t able to be up and running on May 1 they’re now in a position where they can take their time. Although I have no clue what the sports calendar will look like for the rest of the year their revised focus will be to get going by the time football season starts.
Once the industry gets up and running at the mobile and retail level the betting options for Colorado residents are going to be phenomenal. There are already 20 companies with betting apps launched or in the works for a launch during 2020. That doesn’t even consider what will happen at the retail level and there are definitely more line originators on the way. As soon as we’re able to start traveling again I’ll be heading out to Colorado to report on what’s happening firsthand.
BETMONARCH BECOMES THE FIFTH SPORTS BETTING APP TO LAUNCH IN COLORADO
BetMonarch has launched their sports betting app and are now ‘out’ #5 in the state. The Monarch Casino Resort Spa in Black Hawk is in the process of building a retail sportsbook on the property as well. You can even find BetMonarch on the Don Best live odds screen. The Monarch Casino Resort Spa is owned by a parent company with a similar name, Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc. The company is based in Reno, Nevada and also owns the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa. You’ll also see the Atlantis Sportsbook on the Don Best screen as they operate their book independently.
My understanding is that the Atlantis and BetMonarch will offer the same lines which definitely makes sense. It doesn’t look like the Atlantis mobile app is currently operational–like the rest of the Nevada gaming industry the property is currently closed. Assuming this is the case, it illustrates a liability with Nevada gaming regulations on mobile wagering. In Nevada, players have to sign up for mobile wagering in person. That means a trip to the casino to register. After you’ve registered you can bet anywhere in the Silver State. The problem is that if you live in Southern Nevada like most of the state’s population and you want to register for the Atlantis app you’re taking a trip to Reno. Colorado, meanwhile, allows remote registration meaning that you can sign up for the BetMonarch app online from anywhere in the state.
It might not be long before Colorado sports betting app #6 is available. The Sky Ute Casino Resort is a tribal property located in Ignacio, Colorado near the border with New Mexico. There are two tribal gaming properties in the state (Ute Mountain Casino Hotel–an hour away from the Sky Ute–is the other) and under their Class III compact with the state are allowed to offer sports betting. As a result, they don’t go through the same licensing process as non-tribal casinos. Ute Mountain was the first of the two to announce their intention to offer sports betting but it’s unclear what the status of that is. Sky Ute, on the other hand, is ready to launch their mobile app in conjunction with US Bookmaking–the company run by longtime Nevada sports betting icon Vic Salerno. The app is available on the casino’s website but it’s not currently operational as the property is closed. There’s a good chance that they’ll launch within the next few weeks. They’ve also got a retail sportsbook under construction.
Several other apps could become operational by late May or early June. One is BetWildwood (a partnership between Cripple Creek’s Wildwood Casino and Internet Sports International, a company best known for wagering kiosks), FoxBet, PointsBet, and SBK (the fixed odds brand of UK based wagering market company Smarkets) along with Nevada’s newest sports betting provider Circa Sports.