DraftKings, Ameristar and more granted sports betting licenses in Colorado
Gaming commission holds special meeting with less than 2 months until legal sports wagering begins
Colorado made more headway in preparing for the launch of legal sports betting this spring with the approval of several new licenses Thursday, including for the state’s first digital and retail sportsbooks.
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Popular sports betting app DraftKings and mega-casino Ameristar were among the second group of applicants approved for licensing at a special meeting of the state’s Limited Gaming Control Commission. The meeting was called specifically to move more of the 50-plus applications through the pipeline as the calendar closes in on the May 1 launch of sports betting statewide.
“The commission has additional business to address in our other meeting,” said Dan Hartman, director of the Department of Revenue’s Gaming Enforcement Division. So as investigators complete background checks on sports betting license applicants, the commission will bring them up for review in special meetings to make sure “that we have ample time” to get through them all, he said.
DraftKings was approved for two licenses that will enable the company to open both physical and digital sportsbooks here.
“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, DraftKings’ chief legal officer, in a statement.
The company has partnered with Twin River Worldwide Holdings to build a retail sportsbook inside the Golden Mardi Gras casino in Black Hawk, according to a DraftKings spokesman. That location will be DraftKings’ seventh nationwide.
Score Digital Sports Ventures, which runs theScore Bet app, was also granted an internet sports operator license.
Three casinos — Ameristar Casino, Lady Luck Casino and Isle Casino Hotel in Black Hawk — were awarded master licenses, which permit them to open physical sportsbooks onsite and to contract with companies to operate digital sportsbooks via web-based or mobile apps.
They join seven other casinos in Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek that were granted master licenses in February.
Additionally, the commission approved Score Media Ventures Inc. and Global Payments Gaming Services Inc. for vendor major and vendor minor licenses, respectively, which enable the companies to provide ancillary services such as marketing, operational solutions and technology for sports betting operators.
The Limited Gaming Control Commission is slated to meet again on March 19, when Hartman expects more sports betting license applications will be considered.
In November, voters narrowly approved Proposition DD, which expands gambling in Colorado by allowing for legalized betting on professional sports. A 10% tax collected from casinos — amounting to an estimated $29 million a year — will be allocated to Colorado’s water plan.