- In its first month of operation, Colorado earned a remarkable $25.5 million in sports betting revenue—a staggering total given ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
- Colorado has very few restrictions on sports betting operators and low barriers to entry, which should help it quickly develop into one of the top sports betting states in the country.
- Colorado will also be the launching point for Smarkets’ SBK app, which will be the first ever sports betting exchange in the United States.
- Sports betting exchanges could fundamentally alter the way Americans approach sports betting.
DENVER – In its first full month of operation, Colorado established that its sports betting industry will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
With only a handful of online gambling operators and a scarcity of betting events because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Colorado still managed to record $25.5 million in sports betting revenue.
That would be a good total for a well-established sports betting state under normal circumstances. It is an incredible feat considering both the restrictions brought on by the coronavirus and the newness of the industry.
For comparison, the three largest sports betting markets in the U.S.—Nevada, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey—each recorded about $3 million in revenue in April under the same restrictions.
It was clear as soon as Colorado passed its sports betting laws that it was primed for success in the industry, but it’s unlikely that anyone anticipated that success would come so quickly.
Colorado’s sports betting laws are some of the least restrictive in the country. Both retail and online betting is fully supported, with few barriers to entry.
The state has issued a staggering number of sports betting licenses already, including to industry titans DraftKings and FanDuel.
Only a handful of popular American sports leagues have been available to bet on since Colorado sports betting launched. As leagues like MLB, MLS and the NBA eye a return to play in late July, all states, including Colorado, could be primed for a spike in betting activity.
If Colorado can continue this momentum, expect it to entrench itself as a sports betting powerhouse in the vein of New Jersey or Pennsylvania.
No major leagues are set to resume play in June, so the next month should determine whether or not that strong opening month was a fluke.
SBK – Changing The Way Bettors Approach Sports Betting
One of the most interesting developments this month will be the launch of the SBK app, an online sportsbook from Smarkets.
SBK is what is known as a sports betting exchange, which functions much like a stock exchange. Rather than betting on lines set by oddsmakers, bettors set their own lines and then offer their own price for someone to take the other end of that bet.
In other words, bettors will determine the market themselves rather than allowing bookies to do it for them. As a result, SBK will likely offer some betting lines that differ greatly from those at other sportsbooks.
Smarkets is marketing it as a “more social”, peer-to-peer betting experience.
While sports betting exchanges are popular in Europe, they are new to the United States and will only be viable in a handful of huge markets because of the Wire Act’s restrictions on interstate gambling.
A massive player base is needed to sustain betting exchanges, so without federal gambling reform, only the biggest online sports betting states will be viable markets for SBK and other exchanges.
These betting exchanges are a dramatic change from the sportsbooks that most American bettors are used to, but it is possible that they represent the future of the industry.
Colorado will be subject zero on SBK’s experiment to change the American sports betting industry.
With a dual background in English and sports performance and business analytics, Carter aims to write stories that both engage and inform the reader. He prides himself on his ability to interweave empirical data and traditional narrative storytelling. When he isn’t keeping readers up to date on the latest sports betting legal news, he’s banging his head against a wall regretting his decision to be a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan.