The Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission is expected to issue the first sports betting licenses this coming week as the state inches closer to the scheduled May 1 start of legal athletic gambling.
Seven of Colorado’s land-based casinos are expected to be granted master licenses for the operation of retail and online sports betting during the state gambling regulator’s upcoming meeting.
Awarding master licenses is the first important step in Colorado’s effort to prepare for the scheduled launch of sports betting across brick-and-mortar facilities and online on May 1. These licenses authorize the state’s casinos to open physical sportsbooks and to partner companies to conduct digital sports betting activities across desktop and mobile apps.
Colorado voters narrowly approved Proposition DD, a piece of legislation authorizing retail and digital athletic gambling, last November. The state’s expanded gambling industry allows gamblers to place bets on various professional sports, including eSports.
Licensed sports betting operators will be taxed at 10% on their revenues. The tax money will be allocated to projects related to Colorado’s water plan. According to initial estimates, legal sportsbooks can annually contribute $29 million in tax revenue to the state.
Seven Casinos to Receive Licenses Next Week
According to reports from local media outlets, the Limited Gaming Control Commission will grant licenses to seven casinos next week, including Saratoga Casino and Monarch Casino Resort Spa in Black Hawk, Central City’s Dostal Alley Casino, and Brass Casino, J.P. McGill’s Hotel and Casino, and Midnight Rose Hotel and Casino in Cripple Creek.
The Colorado gambling regulator has received more than 50 sports betting license applications since the opening of the application window in November.
It is to be seen whether any of the license applicants who are granted permits to conduct sports betting activities will be able to go live with their offering on May 1.
Some of the state’s bigger casinos have already found sports betting partners that will operate their wagering apps. Last July, Double Eagle Hotel and Casino in Cripple Creek teamed up with online sports betting platform PointsBet to jointly conduct retail and online wagering activities.
Last month, Saratoga Casino in Black Hawk announced that it has formed a sports betting partnership with British bookmaker Betfred as the company looks to join the US wagering stampede amid tough operating environment across the pond.
It was in January again when Twin River Worldwide Holdings, which recently acquired the Golden Gates, Golden Gulch, and Mardi Gras Casinos in Black Hawk, announced deals with sports betting and daily fantasy sports operators DraftKings and FanDuel.
The two companies will run betting apps in Colorado, under the terms of their partnership with Twin River. In addition, DraftKings will operate a retail sportsbook inside Mardi Gras.
Earlier this month, Century Casinos signed a 15-year agreement with Circa Sports Colorado LLC, a subsidiary of Circa Sports, a wagering business run by Las Vegas developer and casino owner Derek Stevens. Under the terms of the agreement, Circa Sports will operate a digital sportsbook in Colorado. Century Casinos operates casino properties in Cripple Creek and Central City.