Colorado Receives 50 Bids for 33 Sports Betting Licenses

Sports betting in Colorado is about to get underway with the licensing process bringing in as many as 50 applicants. 33 licenses will be allocated to shortlisted candidates by the end of February.

Colorado Accepts 50 Sports Betting Licensing Applications

The State of Colorado is moving towards the full-scale launch of its industry by already accepting bids from interested parties who want to set-up sports betting shop in the state. So far, 50 applicants have submitted applications to be considered as potential providers of sports betting gambling, only a few days after Colorado settled on a framework to legalize the industry on January 16, 2020.

Since last Thursday, Colorado has been focusing on a future where sportsbooks would begin contributing their fair share to the state’s purse and recapture sports betting from offshore operators and the black market. Voters took to the ballot last November, backing Proposition DD and altering the state’s constitution to allow sports betting activities.

Tasked with overseeing the industry, both at online and retail venues, the Colorado Limited Gambling Control Commission means business and 33 licenses are up for grabs. Out of the 50 applications received so far, 28 are from existing casinos with 10 operators looking to establish their first footprint in the state.

The push from online sportsbooks has also been notable with 13 sports apps applying for the opportunity to offer mobile wagering opportunities from the get-go. With as many as 50 applicants, this goal is now firmly in sight.

Establishing Taxation and Reaping the Benefits

Meanwhile, the Commission should have a list of successful candidates by the end of February with official sports betting expected to start on May 1, 2020. To qualify for a license, applicants will have to pay a non-refundable $10,000 fee and then meet a $125,000 licensing fee, offering a two-year period of operation.

Casino will have to pay a 10% tax as soon as they start operating with the state expected to collect $29 million annually. Yet, with Super Bowl and March Madness over by the time Colorado actually launches sports betting, first year revenue will most likely remain modest in the state.

The Super Bowl and the collegiate basketball tournament are the two most grossing events in terms of betting handle, generating the whopping $6 billion in total placed wagers in 2019 alone. In established sports betting states, such as New Jersey, pushed the total bets claimed up to ca. $332 million.

Meanwhile, the offshore gaming market continues to generate estimated $150 billion, prompting Colorado to seek and claim back some of that revenue. Not least of all, Colorado is in a strategic position among states that haven’t yet legalized sports betting.

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