When the first legal sports bet is placed in Colorado, there will be no shortage of bet types to choose from. Colorado regulators earlier this month unveiled their “sports betting catalogue,” which lists 48 specific sports or events that can be wagered on and includes more than 1,000 specific types of bets. An amended version of the catalog was approved by the Limited Gaming Control Commission last Thursday ahead of a mandated May 1 deadline for launch in Colorado.
Commissioners chose to temporarily exclude nine sections including NCAA wagers as they expressed concern that some of the wagers may be in violation of the law’s provision to prohibit proposition bets featuring individual collegiate athletes. The LGCC said it plans to resolve the issues by its May meeting, and it could schedule additional meetings to discuss them as early as this week.
Colorado’s law requires that regulators be ready by May 1 if operators want to launch. Though retail casinos throughout the state are shuttered amid the COVID-19 crisis, several operators say they have plans to launch their mobile platforms on May 1. According to an April 16 LGCC bulletin, the earliest a sports bet may be placed in the state is 10 a.m. MDT on May 1, and play accounts may be set up in advance.
What are these sports, anyway?
Even without the NCAA sections, the catalog is expansive. It includes the meat-and-potatoes leagues and markets, but Colorado could be the first state with legal sports wagering to offer betting on certain sports. How about pesapallo, a relative of baseball played in Finland, or floorball/bandy, another game with Nordic heritage? Bandy is a version of hockey played with five players and a goalkeeper per team, and floorball, like American floor hockey, is a spinoff without the ice. More than 10,000 people of Finnish descent live in Colorado and six Finnish companies have offices there.
Floorball! Indoor bandy! pic.twitter.com/Y2MkANUBow
— 세라는 외박중 (she/her) (@anicaasharp) March 14, 2014
There are also wagers available on the Gaelic Games, which include football (soccer) and hurling played under the eye of the Gaelic Athletic Association. There are 29 Gaelic Games betting options listed, including the “man of the game,” who will score the first goal, and what the first scoring play will be. Colorado sportsbooks will only offer wagering on Gaelic Games football.
The British ball-and-cue game snooker, cricket, darts, beach volleyball, and badminton are also on the list. In addition to the wide array of sports, Coloradans will have a wide selection of Olympic bets, including wagering on trifectas and exactas, medal count, or fastest semifinal. One sheet in the catalog is devoted to “Winter Athletics,” and it includes not only traditional Winter Olympic sports but the XGames as well. Given the strong emphasis on winter sports in the Centennial State, many could be intrigued by offerings on biathlon, the over/under winning score for the Ski Slopestyle final at the XGames, and the winner of the Snowboard Big Air final.
In addition to athletic contests, it will be legal in Colorado to bet on eSports and fantasy sports. Esports has seen a rise in wagering since the coronavirus struck the U.S., as both Nevada and New Jersey have legalized betting on an array of eSports from Counter Strike to eNASCAR, both of which will be available options in Colorado.
CO be 4th state where operators launch in 2020
With DraftKings and FanDuel planning to go live with their mobile platforms on May 1, Colorado will become the fourth state to introduce live betting platforms in 2020. Retail sportsbooks in Illinois, Michigan, and Montana launched just days before U.S. professional sports leagues announced they’d be shutting down on March 12. And in Washington, D.C., the D.C. Lottery has its “GambetDC” app ready to go when professional sports return. The D.C. Lottery had planned to go live in late March but opted to delay due to the dearth of sports being played.
Colorado is a god damn gold mine for sports betting
— TheVolkReport (@ReportVolk) April 13, 2020
Colorado voters legalized sports wagering by referendum in November, and since then, regulators in the state have been in a sprint to be ready for the May 1 date — the law mandates that regulators must be ready for operators to launch on that date. So far, the LGCC has awarded Master Licenses to 30 of Colorado’s 33 existing casinos. All 33 casinos have applied. Temporary Internet Sports Betting Operator Licenses have been awarded to key national platforms such as William Hill, DraftKings, and FanDuel, as well regional operators like Churchill Downs Interactive Gaming, Rush Street Interactive, Penn National, and Circa Sports.