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Heidi Specter November 8, 2019 3 min read
Colorado Voters Approve Sports Betting Measure
Colorado has officially become the 19th state in the United States to legalize regulated sports betting. This development was only possible due to support from voters in the state who managed, albeit narrowly, to pass Proposition DD. Now, residents of the state can expect to be able to place sports wagers in as little as six months from the time of this writing.
How It Came to Pass
The Colorado voters went to the ballot box on Tuesday in order to decide whether to approve or reject the sports betting proposition. For the most part, the tally seemed to indicate that Proposition DD was going to be defeated narrowly. However, things changed dramatically overnight with the measure widening its lead.
At some point, the ballot was even down to a 50-50 tie but this changed on Wednesday morning recording a lead of about 1 percent. Later that afternoon, the local press reported that the measure had passed. While most of the state’s counties rejected Proposition DD, it managed to survive thanks to massive support from areas like Jefferson, Adams, Douglas, Arapahoe, and Denver which had some of the highest voter turnouts.
Out of the over 1.5 million votes that were cast, over 40,000 were in favor of Proposition DD. However, these results will not be official until November 27. Still, there is no doubt that things will remain as they are.
As mentioned earlier, the earlier time when sports will go live in the state could be about six months. Before then, the Colorado Division of Gaming will have to prepare necessary regulations and licensing procedures for the sector.
The newly approved sports betting measure will allow Colorado’s 17 casino operators to apply for licenses to operate either digital or retail sportsbooks. Colorado will be taxing sports revenue at 10 percent of the operators’ net proceeds.
Most of the tax revenue will go towards financing the state’s water management plan. This environmental initiative currently needs close to $40 billion to fund its operations. The rest of the money will go to the local governments, the gaming regulator as well as efforts to promote responsible gambling.
Sports Betting Partnerships
The operators that will obtain licenses to operate in the state are likely to ink partnerships with experienced sports betting companies. This is even more likely for the online sports betting sector where companies like FanDuel and DraftKings will be interested in. Colorado already has a rather strong gambling industry and therefore the addition of sports betting is definitely going to bolster that industry.
The win for sports betting in Colorado also has a lot of other implications. Despite being rather later to the party, its move will be a benchmark for other states hoping to legalize sports betting in 2020.