BetMonarch has joined the Colorado sports betting party.
The Monarch Casino and Resort in Black Hawk announced the official launch of its BetMonarch app on Monday, giving Colorado sports bettors a fifth mobile option to test their luck on.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and lack of major sports in the US has made the move all the more challenging for the casino.
The BetMonarch app is available for Apple and Android users.
“To launch an app like this, you have a lot of different groups, a lot of different parties that have to come together,” Monarch Casino and Resort Chief Operating Officer David Farahi told PlayColorado. “You have the gaming regulators at the Colorado Division of Gaming that, frankly, did a fabulous job over the last couple of months putting the rules and regs in place – in a pretty short order – to make sure that the consumer was well protected with all of the apps that are launching.
“You have to work with technology partners to build the technology and framework that the app is based on. And then you have to work with payment processors and make sure players’ money can go in and out of the app smoothly. So there are a lot of different groups that have to work together to make this flow. And when people are working from home, when people don’t have access to all of their normal office resources, it makes it all that much harder. But we work with a great team, and we were able to get it done.”
Here are the five options currently available to Colorado sports bettors. This is out of 17 scheduled to launch at some point in the future.
- DraftKings — partner with Golden Mardi Gras
- FanDuel — partner with Golden Gates Casino
- BetMGM — partner with Midnight Rose Hotel and Casino
- BetRivers — partner with J.P. McGill’s Hotel and Casino
Sports betting experience
Farahi said the goal was to launch the BetMonarch app as close to May 1 as possible, when legal sports betting officially got underway in the state.
The company no doubt leaned on the mobile app experience it already has in hitting that timeline. Its full destination resort in Reno, The Atlantis, offers a live sportsbook and the Atlantis Sports and Racebook App.
The other benefit for BetMonarch? Similar to the app in Reno, is it’s all in-house. That improves the customer experience while also helping the company.
“Having that experience from the last five-plus years, we understand some things about what players want and are able to deliver it,” Farahi said. “For example, because we’re an in-house managed sportsbook, we can manage the lines more efficiently, we can put better lines out there for the player than other books. We can score games faster, which means people can get their money faster and create a better overall user experience. And then on top of that, because we’re an in-house book, people can earn comp points and tier status for our players’ club, which is called ‘Monarch Rewards‘.”
The Monarch Rewards adds to the customer experience but also serves as a way for the BetMonarch app to stand out from the competition.
The other unique aspect of the BetMonarch app is that it’s not available for browser betting. It’s only available on a mobile device, similar to Nevada in that regard.
When you introduce a new entertainment outlet, as Colorado has done with sports betting, sportsbooks and casinos will look for any advantage they can get.
In the same vein, customers will look at what distinguishes one app from another.
“So in the same way that a casino customer can come in and earn points when they play a slot machine or play Black Jack, they can do that with our app now,” Farahi said. “And someone who has maybe never been to Black Hawk can download the app from the App Store, create an account from their living room, place bets from their living room, and all the while earn Monarch Rewards points that they can then use for a stay-cation up at our resort in Black Hawk.”
Farahi also told PlayColorado that sports betting will allow the company to grow its customer base. Customers will see that not just through the BetMonarch app but also with the new retail sportsbook the Monarch Casino has planned.
Farahi said there is no announcement for when the sportsbook will be completed, but the design phase is wrapped up. The company is excited about creating an environment where sports bettors will enjoy hanging out, he said.
“It’s going to give us another amenity that we can offer people who enjoy sports betting,” Farahi said. “Sports betting is generally a different demographic than the traditional slot player. So as we try to grow our customer base, we’re trying to find new things that attract new customers. So sports betting allows us to increase our customer base in a fun and exciting way.”
The new retail sportsbook will get completed when the construction of the full destination resort in Black Hawk is finished. Though the sportsbook will be housed in the current casino building, not the new resort.
Farahi said the work on the new resort has continued despite the operation shutdowns and the current “safer-at-home” policy instituted by Gov. Jared Polis.
The statewide initiative has no clear timeframe as to when Colorado casinos may reopen to the public.
Sports to bet on
The good news for all involved is there are two more UFC events to watch and bet on this week.
Although sports are still on hiatus, plans could be coming together for MLB and the NBA to start playing again as well.
Of course, fans can also wager on how they think the Denver Broncos will fare in the 2020 season and if they’ll make the NFL playoffs.
Now that BetMonarch has joined the party, Colorado sports bettors have another option to choose from on their mobile devices.
“The reality is, the sportsbook business … in the grand scheme of the gaming industry, it’s not a huge profit center,” Farahi said. “But it is a really nice amenity for the resort. It adds an element of excitement to the resort. And we’re really happy that Coloradans decided to legalize sports betting and we’re excited to offer it — both in the resort and through the BetMonarch app.”