Renewal of Four Casino Licenses Among Those Approved in Colorado LGCC Monthly Meeting

Colorado Casinos
The licenses of four Colorado were approved for renewal by the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (LGCC) during its regular monthly meeting last Thursday.

In a statement, LGCC Chairman Richard Nathan said that the approved renewal is valid for two years but do not include “entities or individuals with whom these licensees have entered into, or considered entering into, contracts for sports betting operations or internet sports betting operations.”

Unanimous Approval

The approved licenses belong to Grand Z Casino and Johnny’s Z Casino in Central City, along with Monarch Casino and Z Casino in Black Hawk. Grand Z, Johnny’s Z, and Z Casino are all owned by Maverick Gaming. All four casino licenses were unanimously approved by the body’s five commissioners.

During the same meeting, the LGCC also gave approval for 11 sports betting ‘first vendor” mino licenses. These are licenses the cover entities who act on behalf of sports betting providers, including the TansUnion Gaming Services. TransUnion, which is known as a game reporting agency, announced earlier this year that it would join the United States sports betting industry in order to provide gambling operators across the states solutions to identity, fraud, and marketing issues.

Amendments to “Limited Gaming” rules

The LGCC also signed off on the amendments to “limited gaming” rules. Newly appointed table games chairman Joseph Nguyen made the presentation on the amendments to table games while the new rules for the “Craps Dice Ology” and “TriLux Blackjack” games were approved after the success of conducted field trials.

Colorado Division of Gaming commissioner Dan Hartman also gave the LGCC an update on the status of fixed-odds wagering on horse racing. According to Hartman, his office conducted a series of stakeholder meetings on the topic during the last three weeks and that discussions progressed well but will need more time before they can move forward.

University of Denver Enters into Sports Betting Partnership With Las Vegas’ SuperBook

Colorado Casinos
SuperBook at The Westgate Las Vegas has entered into a sports betting partnership wit the University of Denver Athletics in a deal that was facilitated by Playfly Sports.

According to an announcement made last Thursday, the deal involves branding, media hospitality, and social media assets with a focus on responsible gambling and education for student athletes.

Said Karlton Creech, DU Vice Chancellor for Athletics, Recreation and Ritchie Center Operations:

“The University of Denver is excited about the opportunity to form a corporate partnership with SuperBook Sports. As sports betting continues to become more and more of a passion for our fanbase, we felt that it was important to partner with a local company that we trusted to put an emphasis on responsible gaming. We’re also excited about the opportunity for the proceeds of this partnership to directly impact our student-athletes’ experience at DU.”

Emphasis on Responsible Gaming

Details of the deal were not released but it is expected to include branding in the University of Denver hockey and lacrosse teams and their venues as these two sports are the stalwarts of their athletics program.

But the highlight of the deal is the emphasis on responsible gaming as this is the most common issue among these kinds of sports betting deals, especially with not everybody in the campus at least 21 years old.

The National Council for Problem Gaming ( NCPG) has concerns on these kinds of partnerships but with The University of Denver bringing this to light and making it a priority for a population that are at a high-risk of gambling problems, it’s a good sign.

Second Such Deal in Colorado

The University of Denver deal represents the second such deal in the state of Colorado. In September 2020, PointsBet entered into a five-year partnership with the University of Colorado worth an estimated $1.625 million plus a $30 referral fee for each customer registering to the PointsBet App using a promo linked to the school.

SuperBook’s launch in Colorado was its first expansion outside of Nevada. Last June, it opened a Las Vegas-style retail sportsbook at Lodge Casino in Black Hawk. The SuperBook at The Westgate Las Vegas is the world’s largest sportsbook with an unmatched are of 35,000 square feet.

The SuperBook App also operates in the New Jersey sports betting market and is planning to enter the Arizona sports betting industry which is expected to go live on September 9th when the 2021 NFL season begins.

Sporttrade Gains Colorado Sports Betting Market Access

Colorado Casinos
Fintech sports betting company Sporttrade has gained access to the Colorado sports betting industry after acquiring Denver-based sports betting company Momentum Sports and Entertainment Inc.

Momentum owns and operates an internet sports betting operator license in the Centennial State via a market access agreement with GF Gaming and its local affiliate Easy Street Casino.

In a statement, Sporttrade founder and CEO Alex Kane said:

“We are pleased to announce launch plans in Colorado, a state that has been an early believer in the growth and potential of legalized sports betting with thriving fan bases across multiple professional and college sports teams. Our team looks forward to expanding our presence across the US while continuing to refine our sports betting exchange to provide Sporttrade’s passionate user base with a secure, transparent, and technologically advanced platform from which to wager.”

Open Market Betting Place

Founded in 2018, Sportrade allows bettors to “trade” sporting events the way they trade stocks, via its open market betting place. Under this feature, bettors are presented with tighter spreads, more liquidity, and unique options like the ability to trade in and out of bets at any time and the “always on” in-play betting.

This exchange model aims to make sports betting work like stock trading with outcome based contracts that close at $0 or $100 and the ability to buy or sell at market-based prices before and during the action.

Shaking up The Balance of Power

The state of Colorado handed out more than 30 licenses when it launched legal sports betting in 2020 and generated an estimated $1.2B in bets at the end of the year. Despite having many players, sports betting industry analysts say that 84% of the gaming revenue went to giants DraftKings and FanDuel but Sporttrade hopes that its unique approach to sports wagering will shake up the balance of power.

Sporttrade’s entry to the Colorado market comes after it announced a $36M fund raising to strengthen its position as the only sports betting exchange in the United States. Pending approvals and licensing by the New Jersey Division on Gaming Enforcement, Sporttrade will launch its iOS app in the Garden State.

Bally’s Launches Mobile Sportsbook in Colorado

Ballys Atlantic City

Bally’s Corporation announced on Tuesday that it has proceeded with the beta launch of of its mobile sportsbook called Bally Bet.

The beta launch will focus on the deployment, testing, and refinement of the Bally Bet App and its content. It will also include limited marketing as Bally’s hopes to incorporate the enhancements in the coming weeks.

Said David Wang, Founder and CEO of Bet.Works, who is slated to become the CEO of Bally’s Interactive after Bally’s completed the acquisition of Bet.Works:

“Bally Bet is the culmination of a tremendous amount of hard work by both the Bally’s and Bet.Works teams, and represents a key component of Bally’s long-term growth and diversification strategy. Today’s launch is just the beginning of what Bally’s has in store for the mobile sportsbook market.”

Unique and Innovative Features

Developed by Bet.Works, Bally Bet has been touted to offer unique and innovative features to Colorado sports betting enthusiasts. Aside from having betting options for all the biggest sports, Bally Bet will include in-app parlay games and integrated social features all available exclusively to its members.

Bally Bet users will also earn points from sports betting that they can redeem for dining, gaming, retail, and other amenities at Bally’s Golden Gates, Golden Gulch, and Mardi Gras casinos located in Blackhawk Colorado, and in all Bally’s casinos nationwide after the company’s rewards program is launched this summer.

Colorado Launch is Sensible

Bally’s controls three casinos in the Centennial state but that isn’t the only reason why launching Colorado sports betting was sensible for Bally’s. Colorado is an operator-friendly state with a huge potential market that generated a total handle of $2 billion since it launched in May 2020

Likewise, online wagering has been a part of Colorado sports betting lexicon since the start and the state’s sports bettors are taking advantage of that option. According to state data, 97% of Colorado sports betting wagers have been placed using computers or mobile devices.

Colorado Sports Betting Sets State Record With $326M in January 2021

Colorado Casinos
Colorado sports betting continues to soar high as January 2021 figures reveal a record $326.9M worth of bets were made for the said calendar month.

The number easily tops Colorado sports betting’s previous high of $284.6M which was set in December 2020 or a 14% increase from the previous month. It also translated to a $1.1M tax revenue for Colorado which was an increase of more than 125% from the previous month.

Basketball is Top Sport

Professional Football is the top sport for betting in the United States but that isn’t the case in Colorado. According to the January figures, basketball is the driving force behind Colorado sports betting with the NBA amassing a total of $88M in total bets. College basketball was third on the list, bringing a total handle of $39M.

The NFL ranked second to the NBA with more than $75M of wagers but with Super Bowl LV concluding the league’s latest season, there will be very little pro football bets made between now and Fall. Table tennis is a surprise market in Colorado with a total of $11.8M bets made during the previous month.

Retail Betting is Picking Up

The pandemic has seen punters utilize online sports betting and that has also been the case in the Boulder State with 98% of all January 2021 wagers placed made via the internet. However, the in-person handle saw a slight increase as retail betting produced $7.5M in January bets, which was double the December figures.

The reason behind the uptick in in-person betting is the gradual lifting of restrictions and limitations that were put in place at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. With these slowly getting removed, the retail sportsbooks in Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek have seen an increase in sports bets taken.

Gaining on the Leaders

Sports betting has been up and running in the Boulder State for the past nine months and it has seen a total of more than $1.5 B in sports bets placed. The tremendous growth since inception has seen Colorado sports betting gain on the leaders in the industry.

New Jersey continues to break records month after month and is the top sports betting state in the U.S. The Garden State raked in a massive $958M in January. Nevada is also gaining on New Jersey but is still in second place. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania and Illinois are ranked 3rd and 4th, respectively.

PointsBet Deal Worth at Least $1.625M for CU Buffaloes

Colorado State Seal With a Casino Hotel Background
The University of Colorado stands to receive at least $1.625M as part of its five-year advertising agreement with sports betting company PointsBet.

According to a copy of the contract obtained by sources, PointsBet will make quarterly payments to CU until June 2026. The payments are due every 1st day of July, October, January and April. They escalate every year, beginning with $76,250 in the first year to $86,250 in the fifth year. The five year annual totals are $305,000, $315,000, $325,000, $335,000, and $345,000.

Aside from the quarterly payments, the University of Colorado will receive a referral fee of $30 for every new customer it sends to PointsBet. The more Colorado sports betting client that CU can get, the more money it will receive under its “affiliate” role. These new customers are required to enter a CU promo code which then triggers $30 to the school’s account.

In exchange for the payments, PointsBet will receive advertisement at Sporting events in Colorado, including the school’s football stadium. Every CU football broadcast must include a segment featuring the gambling company and a 10-second live mention during football games. The football stadium will have the PointsBet logo on both videoboards during home games plus a four-minute exposure on CU ribbon boards and end zone LED screens. The agreement is for regular season games with every 30-second exposure during the postseason costing $600 for PointsBet.

First Gambling Partnership

Last month, CU signed the first partnership between an NCAA College and a gambling company. The deal was a major turnabout for the NCAA which has fought very hard against the legalization of sports betting. Although Colorado sports betting was approved last November, the NCAA’s rules ban sports wagering among athletes, coaches, and administrators.

Impending legislation on compensation of athletes could cause more inequality as it relates to gambling. The NCAA may also prohibit athletes from endorsing gambling companies in its legislation governing NIL or name, image, and likeness.

However, there is no prohibition on universities entering into gambling agreements. But the University of Colorado consulted the NCAA and the PAC-12 Conference before it signed the PointsBet deal. Under the deal, PointsBet is prohibited from using a CU athlete’s name or image without approval from the university, and the school is not liable if an athlete files a claim against PointsBet for using their name, image, and likeness (NIL).