DENVER — Under different circumstances, Friday would be an exciting day for the sports betting enthusiast.
That's because Friday, sports gambling becomes legal in Colorado.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has rendered the sports world all but nonexistent. That, of course, makes it impossible to bet on sports ranging from the mainstream to the obscure (floorball, anyone?)
Still, there's a lot to know about how sports betting will be administered in Colorado. 9NEWS had questions about the state's newest recreational offering, and Suzanne Karrer with the Colorado Department of Revenue's Enforcement Division was kind enough to answer them for us.
(Editor's note: Questions and answers have been edited for context and clarity.)
9NEWS: Based on our last reporting, some sportsbooks and casinos had reached out to get their licenses for sports gambling. Can sports gambling officially start tomorrow? And if so, how? Is it all online?
Kerrer: The Division of Gaming has received, and the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission has approved licenses for casino master licenses, internet operators and retail operators. The Division is excited for the official launch of sports betting in Colorado will begin tomorrow, May 1. Starting tomorrow, we have six internet operators that are ready to start taking bets on their online platforms starting at 10 a.m. (Four start running tomorrow, the other two have had some online tech problems and hope to start next week). The list of the six operators may be found on the Division’s sports betting website.
How has coronavirus changed how this is being rolled out or implemented?
Kerrer: It is indeed a different environment to launch sports betting then we initially anticipated. With that said, the Division is proud of the hard work and effort that went into establishing a robust sport betting industry in Colorado and excited for the launch on May 1, with four operators initially offering online options. We look forward to additional operators and offerings becoming available in the weeks and months ahead.
It is our reality as regulators that we can get sports betting up and running for those that want to start right now, but the excitement of the new industry for Colorado is overshadowed by what is going on in the world right now. There will be a right time for fanfare surrounding this new form of entertainment in Colorado, but right now is not that time.
How many places have filed to eventually offer sports gambling?
Kerrer: All internet operators must be partnered with a master license (only already licensed casinos operating in Colorado can hold a master license). All 33 Colorado casinos have applied for and received a master license, 25 applications were received for internet operators and 19 for retail operator licenses.
Anything else we should know ahead of tomorrow?
Kerrer: The Division worked extensively with industry stakeholders, holding meetings with over 70 various industry representatives, to ensure that the regulations put in place in Colorado incorporated the needs of the gaming and sports betting industry, as well as provide an excellent and robust entertainment option for the Colorado bettor.
Additionally, the Division of Gaming has released an extensive sports bets catalog that lists all the possible legal bets that may be placed on sports.
There are a few things you can put your money on now. You could place a bet for the Broncos to win the Super Bowl next year. There are already prop bets for over/unders on receiving yards and touchdowns for Broncos first round draft pick Jerry Jeudy. There are also live sporting options like table tennis in Moscow, Taiwanese baseball, or darts.
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