After a lot of infighting and back and forth, Colorado legislators made it official on Thursday: The state will launch sports betting on May Day, the first day of May. The Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission held a meeting via teleconferencing.
During the meeting, several more pricey sports betting licenses were approved. A few other issues concerning regulations and budget issues were approved by the Commission.
The type of wagers allowed had to be revised during the meeting, but by the end of the meeting, all committee members agreed to the terms. The commission members are prepared to move forward with their prior plans for a May 1 sports betting launch.
This decision was not certain until the commission meeting ended, and the members released a statement about their decisions. Some residents and officials voiced their approval for the move, but others told ABC News in Denver, they were surprised, since there are no sports to bet on now.
The director of the Colorado Division of Gaming, Dan Hartman, also participated in the Thursday commission meeting.
General Consensus Of Board Members Was Time To Move Forward
Colorado was the first state in the country to legalize recreational marijuana and has also been very forward-thinking and progressive, said a committee member.
Hartman said, “It’s a slow time for sports now, but this is temporary, and in order to come back from this financial devastation, we have to plan for the future.”
Hartman also said he has been in weekly communication with sports betting operators that have already been issued sports betting licenses. He said they are all happy and excited to get their operations ready and operational.
The rule that was revised on Thursday was that no wagers could be taken on any NCAA games that take place in Colorado or that involve Colorado teams. That will not be allowed once sports are up and running again.
About 10 sports betting licenses were issued on Thursday during the meeting. One of those was for a sportsbook in Las Vegas. The Vegas sportsbook, SuperBook, has formed a partnership with the Lodge Casino in Black Hawk, Colo., about 60 miles from Denver.
SBTech Also Granted A Sports Betting License
Another high profile sportsbook in the state is SBTech, which was also granted a sports betting license on Thursday. The company was recently the victim of a cyber-attack, which caused several days of outages before the coronavirus caused a shutdown.
The company assured its customers that no customer information was compromised, but it was a huge disruption for the company and a setback. However, they were able to bounce back and maintain high customer loyalty.
SBTech received accolades from the committee members on Thursday, who said that while being the victim of a cyber-attack, they addressed the issue with their customers immediately, and took steps to straighten their security.
Hartman said that on the official launch date of May 1, at least 26 sports betting providers will be able to do business. Hartman said there are also 19 retail locations like casinos and racetracks where licenses can be operational on May 1.
The sports betting licenses in Colorado are very competitive with other states, costing $2,000 for a master license and $1,200 for other licenses. Hartman said that the only thing that is going to be a bit of a glitch is that they were hoping to tie the sports betting launch in with the state’s Cinco de Mayo celebrations on May 5.
Colorado has the largest Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the country, but they may do a belated one in the summer and have a second launch. They have to see how everything turns out with sports coming back online.