Sports betting in Colorado has taken off and it’s evident that things have just gotten started. Sports betting has been legal in Colorado since May 1st, much to the delight of sports fans everywhere. What this means is that Bronco fans don’t have to leave the state anymore to throw down $200 on a wager supporting the team’s win for the Super Bowl.
And even though the pandemic has definitely set the world of sports back in a major way, Colorado gamblers have every reason to celebrate. After 6 long and challenging years of litigation, the U.S Supreme Court made a ruling allowing New Jersey to start legalized sports betting, a move that effectively made gambling bans unconstitutional. This was also the move that’d made it possible for legalized sports betting in Colorado to take off.
Since the Supreme Court decision was enforced, numerous states all over the country including Colorado have worked effortlessly to legalize sports betting. Before this momentous Supreme Court decision, legal sports betting was only restricted to Las Vegas. Anyone interested in betting would either have to travel to Vegas or settle for bookies and betting through offshore websites.
But things all changed in 2019 when Colorado policy and lawmakers finally stepped up to highlight the value of sports betting during the November 2019 statewide ballot. Fortunately, voters in Colorado supported the measures, which paved the way for legalized sports betting to take effect in the state. The voters also chose to place a 10% tax on all casino winnings.
Now, Coloradans can bet on a wide range of sports including the NFL, the soccer premier league, the Olympics, or just about any type of sport under the sun including intercollegiate tournaments, and professional video game competition.
What does the future of sports betting in Colorado look like?
Even though sports betting in Colorado has been legal for a few months now, it’s not expected to start generating any major revenue for the state until the much-awaited return of spirts. Once sports betting in Colorado takes off fully, the Centennial State is slated to have a bright future.
According to reports, Colorado is capable of generating as much as $6 billion in sports bets per annum, $400 million in gross operator revenue yearly, and $40 million in yearly tax revenue once the market attains its maturity. The newly established sports wagering market in the state is also attracting major sportsbook operators, which is further expected to drive growth in the state.
As it stands, 9 operators have licenses to offer both online and mobile betting. The companies currently at the helm of operations include Circa Sports, BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers, Rush Street Interactive, as the market continues to flourish, more operators are expected to join the ranks which should lead to a boost in wagers in the coming months as covered here.
Key lessons to emulate from sports betting in Colorado
When the former Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie took New Jersey’s initiative to legalize sports betting in the Supreme Court as covered here, much thought that it was a tall order. Although at the time, the Garden State did not have a strong link to sports betting as it does now, it quickly became the face of the industry.
Now, several years after New Jersey’s historic win that brought legalized sports betting to any state willing to legalize it, New Jersey is America’s sports betting capital today as written here. While Colorado would find it a tall order to catch up to New Jersey, which has enjoyed legalized sports betting since 2018, there is still a lot that other states can learn from the Centennial State.
Some of the lessons that other states including New Jersey can learn from Colorado include:
Your tech must be top-notch
There have been some really high profile system failures that have reflected negatively on the gambling industry. If other states want to experience Colorado’s success, then they must make sure that the technology they’re working with, whether proprietary or 3rd party, should be ready for the unique wants of the burgeoning sports betting market.
Licensing partners matter
Licensing, especially in the gambling industry, can be very complicated. Each state has regulations designed to govern licensing partners and not all partners are created equal.
Trust is key
In the early days of legalized sports betting in Colorado, it was vital for operators to build trust among the customers and punters. Other states wishing to follow New Jersey’s and Colorado’s lead must keep in mind that their reputation is crucial to creating a sustainable sports betting ecosystem that ensures player loyalty and one that allows scaling long-term.