Across the country, lawmakers have had to contend with local colleges and universities asking for legal sports wagering to exempt their sports. Conceptually, educators say they don’t want to put their student-athletes at risk by allowing them to be bet on.
In Colorado, it is legal to bet on college sports, but the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission continues to tweak its rules and offerings to protect student-athletes. The latest move — which came days after Colorado ushered in live wagering on May 1 — is the removal of a single bet type from the state’s extensive catalog. In the original catalog, bettors could have wagered on the “top team goal scorer” in collegiate soccer, but after studying the most recent catalog, published May 6, that bet has been removed.
According to an LGCC spokesperson, the bet could have been for the season or for a single game, and the Commission “removed (the bet) because it ties back to an individual player.”
Regulators just being careful
In addition, the LGCC will redefine proposition bets to be (new text in bold):
A bet SPECIFICALLY NAMING AN INDIVIDUAL PARTICIPANT, OR IF A TEAM SPORT, A SPECIFIC POSITION ON A TEAM, THUS CONSTITUTING A BET UPON THE ACTIONS OF THAT INDIVIDUAL OR POSITION, regarding the occurrence or non-occurrence of a certain outcome during an event that does not
directly reflect the event’s final outcome.
Operators in the state don’t see the change as anything earth shattering. After all, betting on college soccer is not a high-dollar endeavor for operators or consumers. The new definition, some feel, is likely just born out of an abundance of caution.
“We have found the same in other jurisdictions we’re in, so this is not new to us,” DraftKings’ Director of Sportsbook Operations Johnny Avello told Sports Handle this week. “Other states have adopted the same type of bylaws. They are new at it, I think they need to get a comfort level. I have to tell you, Colorado has been pretty aggressive. I can’t say there’s a whole lot of stuff we proposed that they didn’t want to do.
“At this time, that’s what they’ve elected to do. I respect them because I know they’re new and maybe they have some concerns which at a later date maybe we can address.”
DraftKings was among the four mobile platforms that went live in Colorado on May 1.
Mattias Stetz, COO of Rush Street Interactive, which launched its Colorado BetRivers site last week agrees with Avello.
“I would probably read it as if we’re talking about the point guard or quarterback of the Colorado Buffaloes,” he said when asked about the new definition. “If it was just a name, then we couldn’t say a name, and now you can’t even say ‘the quarterback.’ If props weren’t allowed before on individuals, this just sounds like a clarification.”
New definition will be voted on in June
The issue initially came up an April LGCC meeting, when Commissioner Richard Nathan voiced his concern about prop bets on individuals in college games. As an example, he suggested that a wager on the total number of corner kicks in a soccer game could be construed as betting on an individual. That bet is still in the catalog.
The Commission voted to approve the pro side of the sports betting catalog and hold out eight NCAA sections while reviewing the rules and bet types at its April 16 meeting. The LGCC approved the updated catalog at its April 30 meeting, just one day ahead of the first legal sports bet being placed in the Colorado.
With regard to the bet was removed, BetRivers’ Stetz said his company didn’t offer a bet on total goals in soccer in any other jurisdiction — and BetRivers is live with mobile platforms in Indiana, Pennsylvania and New Jersey — last year.
According to an LGCC release, the Commission will vote on the new definition at its June 18 meeting.
Matt Rybaltowski contributed to this report.