- Colorado is poised to become one of the major markets in US sports betting
- The Coronavirus pandemic has shut down the casino industry in the state.
- DraftKings and FanDuel are expecting to go live with online/mobile wagering in Colorado on May 1
Like we said earlier in our report about the SuperBook/Jacobs Entertainment announcement there’s a surprising amount of action in Colorado even though the state’s entire gaming industry is shut down. This shutdown will almost certainly delay any retail sports betting launch well beyond the May 1 launch date. The good news is that there will be at least two mobile/online apps going live on ‘opening day’. FanDuel and DraftKings have both indicated within the past 48 hours that they’re planning to be taking bets just as soon as Colorado wagering opens for business.
The historical daily fantasy rivals have taken their competition for market share into the sports betting arena but interestingly both are partnering with the same gaming company in Colorado. Twin River Worldwide Holdings purchased three Colorado properties in late January acquiring the Golden Gates, Golden Gulch and Mardi Gras in Black Hawk. Their press release announcing the acquisitions sure made it sound as if they made the deal primarily to get into the Colorado sports betting market:
As previously announced, with the completion of this acquisition, Twin River has also acquired the right to three sports gaming licenses in Colorado in connection with the passage of Proposition DD on November 5, 2019. The company has already formed partnerships for these licenses, which will be announced at a later date.
DRAFTKINGS, FANDUEL WASTING NO TIME ESTABLISHING THEIR BRANDS IN COLORADO
Obviously, it’s a smart strategy for both companies to be ‘first movers’ in Colorado’s sports betting marketplace. At least among the mainstream public and casual sports fans they’re definitely the best known brands among all of the companies confirmed to be offering mobile wagering in Colorado. With so much of the state’s gaming industry on Coronavirus lockdown they could get a very significance ‘head start’ in the new and lucrative market.
The bad news is that there’s not much to bet on. At FanDuel, the betting board currently consists primarily of table tennis, darts and soccer from Belarus. DraftKings board has the same events front and center along with a game in the Taipei SBL basketball league. This is likely no concern to either company. The point of all of this is their ability to leverage their already well known brands to market to a ‘captive audience’ in a brand new sports betting jurisdiction.
Currently, there’s no confirmation of any other mobile betting platforms set to go live on May 1. I’ve heard some unconfirmed chatter that Fox Bet might also be ready to launch on ‘opening day’ but at this point that’s just speculation.