The Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (LGCC) accelerated its pace on Thursday for the state to hit the ground running for its mandated May 1 launch for sports betting, approving DraftKings Sportsbook and theScore for temporary licenses as Internet Operators, making the pair the first to receive approvals for online operations later this year. In addition, the LGCC granted three Black Hawk-based casinos First Master licenses to operate legal Colorado online sportsbooks.
Suzi Kerrer, Communications Manager for the Colorado Department of Revenue, confirmed the approvals — all in unanimous fashion. The votes, conducted via conference call, were made in a specially called session in response to the 60 applications the LGCC received to operate retail and online sportsbooks in the Centennial State.
The state agency has now granted 13 licenses overall after approving seven casinos in a regularly scheduled Feb. 21 session. All told the LGCC may award 60 licenses for online and retail sports wagering after Proposition DD was narrowly approved by voters last November. DraftKings was also approved for a temporary license as a Sports Operator.
The three Black Hawk casinos approved were Lady Luck, Isle, and Ameristar. The three join Monarch and Saratoga among casinos in Black Hawk that currently have licenses for sports betting. Lady Luck and Isle are Eldorado Properties, while Ameristar is owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties and operated by Penn National. Overall, 10 casinos have been approved for Master licenses, including four in Cripple Creek and Dostal Alley Casino in Central City.
DraftKings, theScore waiting on casinos’ approvals
DraftKings has an agreement in place to offer mobile sports betting with Twin River Worldwide Holdings and also will operate a retail sports book at Mardi Gras Casino in Black Hawk. Twin Rivers also owns Golden Gulch and Golden Gate in Black Hawk, and the three holdings have not appeared before the LGCC.
“DraftKings is excited to receive our temporary license from the Colorado Division of Gaming and looks forward to soon being able to provide sports fans in Colorado with our top-rated mobile and online sportsbook product,” said R. Stanton Dodge, Chief Legal Officer for DraftKing said in an e-mail statement to Sports Handle.
“Director Dan Hartman and his team have done an outstanding job developing a modern, consumer-centric framework for sports betting that delivers on what Coloradans voted for in November – funds to protect and conserve the state’s water future.”
TheScore, which was also approved for a temporary license as a Major Vendor, had reached an agreement with Jacobs Entertainment Inc. in January to operate the mobile sportsbook for the Lodge and the Gilpin casinos in Black Hawk. Both casinos have yet to have their applications put up for a vote by the LGCC.
In one other vote, Global Payment Gaming Solutions was approved for a temporary license as Minor Vendor.