With legal sports wagering set to launch in Colorado on May 1st, collegiate athletics will be on the Colorado menu of state-regulated gambling options.
While it is logical to assume that CU and CSU football and basketball will be on the list, Pioneers hoops likely will join them as well. As for other collegiate sports, ultimately it is up to the Director of the Colorado Gaming Commission to formally approve submitted requests by gaming companies to add sports and prop bets (in-game bets). So, it is unclear at this point if the options will include soccer, lacrosse, volleyball, hockey or other sports offered by the University of Denver. Usually, public interest (action) drives the decision for gaming companies to offer betting odds on a sport or event.
Proposition DD, which Colorado voters passed last November, legalized betting on professional sports, including individual, team, international, and Olympic competitions, as well as collegiate, motor and sanctioned video-game sports. The commission expects to finalize which sports and leagues are permissible before the first bets can be placed on May 1.
Sports betting regulations in the state of Colorado are as follows:
“Any individual or team sport or athletic event in which the outcome is not determined solely by chance, whether amateur or professional, including an Olympic or international sport or athletic event and any collegiate sports event. (2) Any portion of an authorized sport or athletic event, including the individual performance statistics of athletes in a sports event or combination of sports events. (3) An authorized sanctioned motorsport; and (4) Any other sports event or combination of sports events as authorized by the Commission by Rule.”
The Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission plans to grant up to 33 total licenses for physical and online sportsbooks. According to The Denver Post, “the State has received more than 50 license applications since November, according to Dan Hartman, director of the Department of Revenue’s Gaming Enforcement Division. That includes 28 from existing casinos, 10 from operators looking to run retail sportsbooks and 13 from internet apps. The names of the applicants have not been disclosed.”
Most of the applications are assumed to be from in-state gambling interests and national online gaming interests like FanDuel and DraftKings. The interesting impact of online gambling will be on the brick and mortar gaming establishments in Black Hawk, Cripple Creek, or Central City. Will they be damaged by online betting? Time will tell.
Casinos will be taxed 10% on net proceeds, which will primarily be funneled to Colorado’s water plan. The state expects to collect $29 million annually from the new tax.