Colorado casinos are set for sports betting debut. It is expected that legal sports betting will be available in Colorado in less than two months. Arizona`s State with more than 4,000 citizens opens its doors for both retail and online sportsbooks on May 1. The state declared that everything is set for the opening and there are no obstacles that may cause any delay.
Residents and visitors to the Mile High State should, at last, have several options for placing their sports bets.
By May, it will have taken Colorado just about a year to get from the legalization stage to launch, according to the sports betting bill, H 1327 that took the majority of votes in April last year. The Colorado Limited Gambling Control Commission (CLGCC) is responsible for both the legalization process and collecting license applications. The only thing left undefined is the first gambling activity that operators will start with.
The application process is in full swing
According to the Colorado sports betting law, regulators could award up to 99 primary licenses.
First, there are the master licenses, which are only available to the state’s land-based casinos. Securing one of these is the prerequisite for any sort of sports betting. There are 33 Colorado casinos eligible to apply.
Each master licensee is eligible to set up to two partners — one to operate the retail sportsbook and the other to provide online betting.
Currently, all but five of the eligible casinos have applied for master licenses, and seven had already given the green light.
Who’s in for betting so far?
Colorado’s casinos are located in three regions.
- Black Hawk and Central City, which are close to Denver
- Cripple Creek, located further south near Colorado Springs
- Tribal casinos, located in the southwest corner of the state
Four of the initial seven licenses went to Cripple Creek casinos: Double Eagle, Brass Ass, JP McGills, and Midnight Rose. Two went to the Saratoga and Monarch casinos in Black Hawk, while Central City received only one for Dostal Alley.
Three master licenses being considered on Thursday are for Black Hawk casinos: Lady Luck, Ameristar and Isle Casino. No license has been awarded to the tribal casinos so far, though it’s probably safe to assume that they both applied.
By opening the new gambling area in Colorado, the state is expected to gain up to $29 million in tax revenue per year, which would mean about $290 million in gross operator revenue. That sounds optimistic, so it might take several years to hit this revenue goal.
Do online casinos and poker have a chance?
Colorado with its gambling industry environment and modern political views seems like a good candidate for other forms of online gambling. The voters seem more liberal rather than either Pennsylvania or Michigan, both of which recently opted to go for the full package of online gambling options.
To move forward with any new form of gambling, Colorado requires a referendum. The reason for this is the local law Tax-Payer Bill of Rights that requires a general vote on any legislation that might implement additional taxes.
The referendum on H 137 passed by a margin of less than 3%. That doesn’t mean that Colorado will never open the state for online gambling beyond sports betting. It means, however, that legislators were probably taught to implement big changes one-by-one. It is possible to assume that if online sports betting brings the expected income, there is a good chance for online poker and casino to join the sports betting industry.