- The Ute Mountain Casino has reopened after closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is launching their sportsbook soon.
- Ute Mountain is one of two tribal run gaming properties in Colorado.
- The state’s other tribal property–the Sky Ute Casino–launched their mobile betting app in early May 2020.
So how about let’s make it 21 sports betting apps in Colorado? This past weekend the 19th and 20th apps in the state went live as PlayUp and Bet Maverick joined the fray. Unless some other company beats them to market the 21st sports betting app will likely be that of one of Colorado’s two tribal gaming properties. The Ute Mountain Casino reopened on March 3 after closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With their reopening they’ve also announced that their retail sportsbook and sports betting app will be ‘coming soon’.
There are only two tribal properties in Colorado, both in the remote Southwest corner of the state not far from the New Mexico border. The Ute Mountain Casino was the first to open on the land of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe near Ignacio, Colorado in 1992. 87 miles to the West in Towaoc is the Sky Ute Casino operated by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe which opened in 1993. They were quick to launch their sports betting app just a few days after sports betting got underway in Colorado in May 2020. The Sky Ute Casino Sportsbook app is powered by technology from Las Vegas based US Bookmaking. The Sky Ute launch was especially significant as it was the first statewide tribal sports betting app in the country.
The Ute Mountain property opened and closed several times during the COVID-19 pandemic with the most recent hiatus beginning on December 7. Previously, they were closed from March 18 to August 20. This time, the property reopened with 35% capacity and a number of safety improvements. Plexiglass has been installed between cash registers and gaming machines. Additional hand sanitizing stations have been brought in and property staff utilize enhanced cleaning procedures. They also follow social distancing requirements and require players to wear masks at all time. For now, the property is open 8 AM to midnight. They’ve reopened their food court with the casino’s other restaurant set to reopen on March 10. The Ute Mountain Tribe has also offered free COVID-19 vaccinations to anyone over the age of 18.
There isn’t much known about the Ute Mountain sportsbook at this point other than it is ‘coming soon’. It will be called the ‘Ute Bet Sportsbook’ and the casino already has promotional materials for it posted on their website:
They also have promotional copy for their retail sportsbook with placeholders where the number of TV screens and chairs should be:
The two tribal properties are not subject to taxation and not required to report their revenues to the state. Their gaming is not directly under the auspices of the Colorado regulators which is why they’re not listed on the ‘licensed sportsbooks’ area of the website.
UPDATE: I did some scouting around on the Internet and found out that a gentleman named Jay Petrick is the Sports Book Manager at Ute Mountain Casino. According to his LinkedIn bio he was a supervisor at the Flamingo Las Vegas for 16 years prior.