Colorado is expected to launch sportsbooks on May 1.

  • Colorado is expected to launch both retail and internet sports betting on May 1.
  • This date may be pushed back due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

DENVER – Anyone involved with the new Colorado sports betting market would like to see a launch date of May 1. Both regulators and operators are moving forward with that date being the goal but the latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic could throw a wrench into any plans for opening by then.

At this point in time, Colorado has 216 reported cases of COVID-19 statewide. This has caused the closing of casinos that will be the home to future sportsbooks until at least mid-April to help contain further spreading of the virus.

“We have not really approached the launch date yet. We’re still moving everything forward as far as licensing and everything to make sure we reach that May 1 date and are able to go,” said Dan Hartman, the director of the Colorado Division of Gaming on Thursday during a web conference. “Those discussions certainly will happen later on, probably in April as this COVID crisis moves forward and we see where the casino industry is at, at this time.”

Currently, 31 different operators have been given their sportsbook licenses. Three online operators have also been approved to open their internet and mobile sports betting applications. More licenses will be receiving approval while regulators and operators continue to prepare for a May 1 launch. During the retail location mandatory closures, they have decided use the time wisely and build out their sports wagering lounge areas.

The three online sports betting operators that have been approved to open are FanDuel, PointsBet, and Fox Bet. The 31 retail locations are plenty but only a handful were greenlit for bigger vendor licenses.

These companies include Premier Entertainment Black Hawk, a Twin River affiliated company that plans to team up with FanDuel and DraftKings for their operations and Full House Resorts who will partner up with Churchill Downs’ BetAmerica, Smarkets and Wynn Resorts.

Despite the COVID-19 quarantine, it is business as usual for everyone in the Colorado sports betting industry. Of course, even if they can meet their May 1 launch without issue, the gambling on sporting events scene will be wildly different than it was expected to be when the pastime was first legalized.

With so many professional sports halting their seasons, sportsbooks in Colorado will need to branch out into creative waters in order to get business in the door.

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