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Betsson, 888Sport Likely To Gain Colorado Licensing This Week

James Murphy
by in Gaming Industry on
  • Sportsbook companies Betsson and 888 are on the agenda for licensing at the December 17 meeting of the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission.
  • 888Sport will launch their mobile betting app in partnership with the Colorado Grande Casino in Cripple Creek.
  • Betsson is partnering with the Dostal Alley Casino in Central City.

Two more sports betting providers are in the process of joining the insanely robust Colorado market. The December 17 meeting of the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission will act on Internet Sports Betting Operator licenses for the US subsidiaries of 888Sport and Betsson. Given that both companies are very well known internationally and regulated all over the world it would appear that they’ll be approved.

From the 12/17/20 meeting agenda of the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission

The temporary licensing is done so that both companies can continue the process of setting up shop while Colorado regulators finalize permanent licensing. At this point, both will likely launch in early 2021 as previously indicated. Early 2021 should see another ‘wave’ in Colorado’s sports betting boom with a number of companies launching apps including Wynn Sports, PlayUp, Bet365, BetAmerica’s mobile app (they already have a retail presence at Billy’s Casino in Cripple Creek) and Tipico in addition to 888Sports and Betsson.

Betsson initially announced their plans to set up shop in Colorado back on July 17:

“I am very excited to reach this milestone, further expanding Betsson’s global reach by entering a new continent through the fast-growing online market in the US. Dostal Alley Casino has more than 60 years of experience of doing business in Colorado and will play an important role in our journey to build US presence. The whole country has a strong culture of gambling and is now experiencing online penetration at accelerated pace, where consumers are transitioning from traditional retail outlets to also now bet on their mobile devices. We have followed the development in the US closely since the possibility of a repeal of the PASPA and have carefully considered ways to enter the market. We are now looking forward to exploring the potential with our proprietary sportsbook.”

888Sport revealed their designs on the Colorado market along with plans for Iowa and Indiana in early December:

“We are delighted to sign these agreements with three great partners – the Colorado Grande Casino, Catfish Bend Casino II LLC, and Harrah’s Hoosier Park – that will enable 888 to bring its first-class online sportsbook to bettors in Colorado, Iowa and Indiana. The U.S. online betting and gaming market has huge growth potential, and we continue to build a strong platform for growth across both our B2B and B2C operations.”

Also on the agenda is a rule change intended to clarify how licensees can modify their property to accommodate more customers while maintaining compliance with social distancing guidelines. I’m assuming that the dates on this would be 12/26/20 through 4/25/21 and that the end date indicated is a typo:


Given the myriad challenges they’ve faced from the COVID-19 pandemic the state of Colorado has done a phenomenal job in their first year of sports betting. It helps that they’ve got intelligently written rules and an extremely competent regulatory body–that’s very rare in US gaming. Currently, there are 16 sports betting apps operational in the state under the auspices of the Division of Gaming. Throw in the Sky Ute Casino app (they operate under their existing tribal gaming compact with the state) and that’s 17 separate apps for Colorado sports bettors. There are also 12 retail sportsbooks in the state–the retail component got off to a slow start due to the shutdown of the state’s gaming industry at the height of the ‘first wave’ of COVID-19 infections but this component of the product mix should also see solid growth in 2021.

Gaming revenues are also very strong in Colorado which is what you expect when you create a competitive marketplace that offers bettors plenty of options. Here’s the details of October revenue figures from a press release dated November 30, 2020:

The Colorado Department of Revenue’s Division of Gaming released figures for October’s sports betting wagering and taxes, showing a prosperous month for Colorado with a significant rise in the amount of taxes collected by the state. The total handle for both retail and online sports betting wagers in Colorado in October totaled $210,719,821. In October, the total taxes collected $824,700, representing a 91.5% increase over September 2020 and the largest amount collected since legalization in May 2020.

Here’s the detailed breakdown of revenues and hold percentage along with the top ten sports by total wagers. The status of table tennis as the breakout betting sport of 2020 is phenomenal–for October in Colorado, it was the #5 most bet sport:

In just over six months, Colorado has put together a sports betting industry that is taking over $200 million in bets per month and providing what is arguably the best experience for the player of any jurisdiction in the country. With the knowledge that they did this all in the worst possible circumstances and primarily via Zoom video meetings this success is all the more impressive. With the good news of a COVID-19 vaccination program launching in the US things should only get better in the Centennial State during 2021.

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