- Maverick Gaming and PlayUp have both launched their mobile sports betting apps in Colorado.
- Australia’s PlayUp is also headed for the New Jersey market.
- Maverick launched a retail sportsbook at the Grand Z Casino in Central City in January 2020.
While incompetent lottery run sports betting in states like Oregon and Tennessee continues to foul the US market waters Colorado remains a true ‘promised land’. Late last week, the embarrassment of riches that is Colorado sports betting added a couple of new mobile ‘outs’ with Maverick Gaming and PlayUp. That makes 19 companies offering mobile sports betting in the state under the auspices of the Division of Gaming. The tribal run Sky Ute Casino also offers a mobile app to make it an even 20 and the state’s other tribal property–the Ute Mountain Casino–has announced that they’ll soon launch their own sports betting app.
Maverick Gaming is based in Las Vegas and has quietly become a significant player in the regional casino market. Actually, they *were* based in Las Vegas–last month they announced that they’re moving their corporate offices from Southern Nevada to Kirkland, Washington. Company co-founder and CEO Eric Persson grew up in Washington and the company operates nineteen card rooms in the state, primarily in the Seattle area. They also own the Wendover Nugget and Red Garter casinos right over the border with Utah in West Wendover, Nevada. About 90 minutes West of Wendover they own three properties in Elko, Nevada–the Gold Country Inn & Casino, the Red Lion Hotel & Casino and the High Desert Inn. They’re not associated with the Maverik chain of fine convenience stores that is ubiquitous throughout the Intermountain West (though they also have locations in Elko, NV as well as throughout Colorado). Adding to the confusion–Maverick Gaming owns a (non-gaming) convenience store in Golden, Colorado.
Here’s the Play Maverick Sports website:
In January 2021, Maverick Gaming launched retail sports betting at their three Colorado properties. They opened their first retail sportsbook at the Grand Z Casino in Central City. Kiosk wagering is available at Maverick’s other two Colorado properties–Johnny Z’s Casino in Central City and the Z Casino in Black Hawk. If the state government expands Washington State sports betting to include commercial gaming properties and not just tribal interests they’ll have a lot more retail sportsbooks and kiosks. In Colorado, their wagering platform–retail, kiosk and mobile–is provided by IGT.
Last July, Australian gaming company PlayUp announced that they had secured market access rights in ‘multiple jurisdictions’ across the United States. The company established an office in Nevada in early 2020 and hired a new CEO to head up their US division. Dr. Laila Mintas has previously served in a number of sports gaming leadership roles including sports data powerhouse Sportradar where she oversaw all US operations. At the time of the original announcement she expressed her excitement over entering the Colorado market:
“We selected Colorado as the first US state to enter as we believe it has great potential, with a population of almost 6 million people that traditionally love sports. The Sports Betting market in Colorado has a potential market size of $300 million USD. As we are an online–only brand, our products are very scalable, also in times of social distancing.”
In November 2020, PlayUp announced that they had raised $25 million of investment funding to bankroll their US expansion. That money was obviously put to good use–in January 2021, they announced they were entering the New Jersey sports betting market in partnership with Parx Casino and Penn National Gaming.
Incidentally, the casino that PlayUp partnered with in Colorado is one of the most unique gaming properties you’ll find anywhere. PlayUp is partnering The Bull Durham Casino in Black Hawk is housed inside a historic building that dates back to the 1800’s. Bull Durham was one of the early entrants into the Colorado gaming market dating back to 1993 and has 2500 feet of gaming space with slots and video poker. Not sure if they have any plans to add a retail sportsbook though you think they could at least install a few PlayUp kiosks.