Not Ready For Prime Time: Colorado Sports Betting Is A Go For May 1

May 1st marks the beginning of regulated sports betting within the Centennial State, enhancing the spectrum of legal online betting in Colorado. The rollout was initially scheduled to occur just before the beginning of the annual Kentucky Derby, and it was thought that the race would be the first regulated sports wager placed within the state.

Now, with all major sports sidelined until the COVID-19 situation settles down and states begin to reopen for business, what will these sportsbooks be able to offer Colorado bettors?

The spring debut was set specifically due to the soft spot in the sports calendar, allowing time to work out all of the kinks in the system before the full torrent of games is unleashed upon sportsbooks in the fall.

“Even though it will be a slow time for sports, we are still planning on May 1. We’re really hoping to get through this and see the resurgence of the industry.”

– Dan Hartman, Director of the Colorado Division of Gaming

The law specifies that in order to operate an in-state sportsbook, it will have to be attached to one of the currently operating casinos within the region’s Tribal and historic mining gaming districts.

May first will see the debut of 17 legal online sports betting sites, according to the Denver Post. Vendors include some of the most recognizable names in the industry such as DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers, SBK, and Circa Sports.

Nevada-based Superbook is taking its first venture into out-of-state waters by including themselves in on Colorado’s promising gaming prospects. They have paired up with the Lodge Casino in Black Hawk and hope to be fully operational by September to be ready for betting on the NFL.

A few vendors intend to offer services on the first of May, but when the physical sportsbooks located within the casinos open back up is anyone’s guess.  All statewide casinos have shuttered their doors for weeks, and there has been no indication of a hard date for reopening.

Colorado gamblers will be able to place a bet online on May 1st with BetMGM, BetRivers, DraftKings, and FanDuel. The remaining sportsbooks have not declared a date for opening but are expected to be accepting wagers by mid-summer.

The bulk of the revenue for Colorado is likely to come from online sports betting as opposed to wagers placed at in-state casinos. Financial forecasters expect around $400 million in additional revenue to be provided by sports betting, and around 80% of that total is estimated to come from online books.

As for what can be expected regarding offerings from these online sportsbooks come May 1, BetRivers is currently featuring live table tennis feeds on their site, and FanDuel seems intent on providing free games for cash prizes. The state of legal betting online is expected to begin the road to recovery once PGA and MLB resume play sometime this summer.