Colorado sports betting begins
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Colorado Sports Betting Begins as State’s First Mobile Sportsbooks Launch

Statewide mobile sports betting launches today in Colorado. Four online sportsbooks are expected to launch today, beginning with BetRivers at 10 AM local time. Retail sportsbooks at casinos are to open at a later date due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns.

In the meantime, mobile betting is now an option for customers who are 21 or older and located within Colorado state lines.

Wagering menus are limited with most of the world’s sports leagues on pause due to COVID-19, but state law allows operators to accept wagers on a wide range of sports. Russian table tennis, Belarussian soccer, darts and Chinese basketball have filled in for the big US sports over recent weeks.

The return of major US sports leagues to bet on is set to begin with the UFC. While the other major US leagues remain in a holding pattern, mixed martial arts is set to return with UFC 249: Ferguson vs. Gaethje on May 9th in Jacksonville, Florida. Additional fight cards are planned for May 13th and May 16th, all to be held without fans but broadcast on ESPN and Pay-Per-View.

Where to Bet Online in Colorado Today

Seventeen mobile sports betting operators are currently licensed in Colorado and four are reportedly launching today. More are expected to launch later this month and in subsequent months.

The four following sportsbooks will most likely be open for business in Colorado by the end of the day. BetRivers in particular has confirmed it plans to go live at 10 AM. Each of these casinos is partnered with a land-based casino as required by law and will launch with the blessing of the Limited Gaming Control Commission (LGCC).

BetRivers

BetRivers Sportsbook is run by Chicago’s Rush Street Gaming and comes to Colorado with prior online betting experience in Pennsylvania and Indiana.

Although BetRivers does not hold as much name brand recognition in Colorado as the likes of DraftKings and FanDuel, it should be competitive nonetheless thanks to an easy-to-clear welcome bonus, extensive in-play betting options and live streaming sports video.

BetRivers Colorado offers a native mobile app for Android while an iOS app is still in development. In the meantime, iPhone and iPad users can head to BetRivers.com to bet online with no download needed.

BetMGM

As the product of a joint effort between MGM Resorts International and international online gaming operator GVC Holdings, BetMGM comes to Colorado with a significant amount of in-person and online betting experience.

BetMGM now offers mobile betting in five states following previous launches in New Jersey, Nevada, Indiana and West Virginia.

DraftKings Sportsbook

The DraftKings name should be familiar to many Colorado sports fans due to its longtime fantasy sports offerings here. Starting today, DraftKings is adding full-fledged sports betting to the menu.

Fans can download the new DraftKings Sportsbook app for iOS and Android devices or wagers online at DraftKings.com. Current DraftKings fantasy customers can log in to the sportsbook with their existing accounts but may be required to provide additional information to verify their identities as required by state law for sports betting.

DraftKings Colorado offers wagers on a wide range of international sports, even today with limited leagues in operation. Markets covering table tennis, MMA, international baseball, darts and more are now open for betting.

FanDuel Sportsbook

FanDuel has been in operation since 2009 as the primary competitor to DraftKings in daily fantasy and now in sports betting. In addition to Colorado, FanDuel Sportsbook holds licenses in New Jersey, Indiana, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Even with most of the world’s sports leagues on hiatus, FanDuel comes to Colorado with a fair number of wagers open for action. UFC, table tennis, international baseball, international basketball, darts, soccer and NFL futures are on offer as of today.

One area in which FanDuel Sportsbook is among the best is in-play betting. Numerous events are covered with live lines every day, and streaming video is offered for a growing number of sports.

Retail Sportsbooks at Casinos to Come Later

Retail sportsbooks will be given the go-ahead to open after the state gives the all-clear order for land-based casinos to reopen following extended coronavirus-related closures. Currently, there is no timeline for when Colorado casinos will be allowed to reopen.

On Sunday, Governor Polis signed a 30-day “safer at home” order outlining the protocols under which certain types of businesses may begin reopening. Casinos have been closed since March and may not reopen under the order, meaning it could be late May, June or even later before residents are able to place wagers in-person.

Colorado’s decision to legalize mobile betting should help ease some of the pain associated with the missed opportunity of retail sports betting. In states such as New Jersey and Indiana, mobile betting accounts for upwards of 80% of total betting handle.

That being said, no one has been spared the pain entirely. Sports betting handle has been hit hard across the board amid suspended sports leagues and economic uncertainty. New Jersey, for instance, saw total betting handle drop more than 50% in March 2020 compared to March 2019. Still, even reduced income is better than no income for Colorado casinos that remain shuttered indefinitely.

Colorado Sports Betting Launch FAQ

Colorado sports betting law and additional regulations set the stage for how operators may conduct their business, what information they must collect from customers, which deposit methods they may accept and more. With that in mind, here’s what sports fans need to know about getting started.

How old do I have to be to bet online in Colorado?

State law requires customers to be at least 21 years of age.

How can I fund my account?

Sports betting regulations allow operators to accept most common types of deposit methods. As section 7.11 (5) of the CO sports betting regulations states, licensed online sportsbooks may accept deposits via:

  • Credit and debit cards
  • Cash or vouchers at approved cashiering locations (likely referring to services such as PayNearMe)
  • Reloadable prepaid debit cards
  • Promotional credits / welcome offers
  • ACH bank transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • “Any other means approved by the Commission”

Do I have to be located in Colorado to sign up and make a deposit?

No. Colorado sports betting regulations specifically state that “accounts may be funded outside the state of Colorado…” However, customers must be physically located within state lines in order to place wagers.

Why am I being asked for my SSN?

Under state law, licensed mobile betting operators are required to collect certain information from all customers in order to verify their ages and identities. Operators are required to collect, at a minimum, the following information:

  • Legal name and date of birth
  • Full social security number or last four digits of number; or the equivalent such as a passport or taxpayer identification number
  • E-mail address and phone number

Who regulates sports betting in Colorado?

The Limited Gaming Control Commission and Division of Gaming oversee sports betting in Colorado. Their duties include issuing licenses, monitoring licensees for compliance with the law and all regulations, and adopting new regulations as needed.

Which sports can I bet on?

The Colorado Division of Gaming released a full list of sports and types of wagers that licensed betting sites are allowed to accept on April 23rd. The list (Excel file here) only includes professional sports and esports for now, but the Division is expected to add college sports to the menu soon.

Included on the list are all major US sports leagues, many international sports and niche sports such as darts, table tennis and even Gaelic games. Colorado sports fans will suffer no lack of options once the world’s sports leagues resume normal operations.

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