- Colorado’s Ute Mountain Casino has opened a retail sportsbook at their Towaoc property.
- Ute Mountain is one of two tribal gaming properties in Colorado along with Sky Ute Casino Resort.
- Sky Ute Casino Resort launched a mobile betting app in June 2020.
- The Ute Mountain Casino ‘UteBet’ mobile sportsbook app should be available in mid-September.
There are bigger jurisdictions and jurisdictions that drive more revenue but when it comes to quality the simple reality is that Colorado is head and shoulders over every other sports betting jurisdiction in the United States. It has the best run regulatory body, the most reasonable regulations, a fair tax rate and fee structure and a great infrastructure for business. It was already one of the best places to live in the United States and with the addition of such a robust sports betting scene it has to rank right at the top for any serious player.
One very important metric that I use to evaluate US jurisdictions is the number of individual sports betting companies that operate there. For a player, the more ‘outs’ the better and from a macro view a large number of companies in a jurisdiction is a clear sign that their regulatory structure encourages a competitive marketplace. Colorado currently has 24 mobile sports betting providers under the purview of the state’s Division of Gaming. The tribal operated Sky Ute Casino also has a retail sportsbook and provides mobile services statewide. The Division of Gaming isn’t directly responsible for oversight of tribal gaming in Colorado. That makes a total of 25 mobile betting options currently available to players in the Centennial State. 888 Sports is already licensed and listed as ‘coming soon’ on the state gaming regulator’s website–likely meaning the launch of their Sports Illustrated branded betting platform. That will be sportsbook number 26 with several more companies waiting in the wings.
As if that abundance of sports betting options wasn’t enough there will soon be 27 ‘outs’ for Colorado players. The other tribal run gaming property in the state–the Ute Mountain Casino–has opened a retail sportsbook and will soon launch a mobile platform. The property is run by the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and is located in remote but downright gorgeous Towaoc, Colorado. Towaoc is just north of the New Mexico border and just East of the Utah border in the ‘Four Corners’ area. The mobile platform entitled ‘UteBet’ is expected to be launched by mid-September. This is pending the resolution of tax negotiations between the tribe and the state of Colorado.
The Ute Mountain sports betting endeavor is powered by IGT technology as part of a partnership that was announced in mid-July. Their operation uses IGT’s PlaySports platform and self-service PlaySports Kiosks for retail betting. IGT’s PlaySports platform is now in operation at more than 40 sportsbooks in the United States.
Rick Scheer, Ute Mountain Casino General Manager, is happy to be working with a trusted partner like IGT:
“Ute Mountain Casino has big plans for our sportsbooks scheduled to open end of August and we are confident that IGT’s PlaySports technology and experienced trading team will help us bring a new level of entertainment to our valued Mountain Rewards players. IGT has been a trusted partner of Ute Mountain Casino for many years and we are excited to expand our relationship and differentiate our casino with the introduction of sports betting and personalized betting offers.”
Enrico Drago, IGT PlayDigital Senior Vice President, returned the pleasantries:
“IGT is honored to help Ute Mountain Casino grow its PlaySports-powered sports betting enterprise from the ground up. Our experienced trading team will ensure Ute Mountain Casino maximizes the full potential of the PlaySports platform’s integrated Player Account Management module and create compelling offers and promotions that will help build player loyalty and drive growth. IGT PlaySports has been processing sports wagers in Colorado since the first day of legalized sports betting in the State and we look forward to extending that momentum with Ute Mountain Casino.”
There’s much more involved in opening a retail sportsbook than most people imagine. Ute Mountain GM Scheer is glad the ‘heavy lifting’ is over:
“It was an exhausting, long process. We’re just so pleased we’ve gotten to the finish line.”
“This passion project has been our best kept secret over the past year, as we’ve persevered through the global pandemic and brought together all the moving parts in order to make this happen. On August 24, we will make history as we open the doors to our first-ever sportsbook.”
The Ute Mountain Sportsbook features sixteen 55-inch LED screens and a 98-inch LED screen displaying a sports ticker with scores, news and odds. There are three betting windows and four self-service kiosks, as well as a ‘VIP’ betting cage reserved for larger wagers. Ute Mountain is also in the process of opening a newly remodeled sports bar that will be open 24/7 and should be completed within the next two months. The live betting windows are open Monday through Thursday from 12:00 Noon to 8 PM Mountain Time, 11 AM to 9 PM on Friday and 9 AM to 9 PM on Saturday and Sunday.