Down Under Goes A Mile High As BlueBet Looks To Colorado

Posted By Ian St. Clair on July 20, 2021

The Colorado sports betting market is one of the most desired in the U.S.

Still.

That’s not exactly breaking news, but since the launch in 2020, sportsbooks want to get into this state.

The tax-friendly rate.

The passionate sports fans.

Add it up and that’s why there are 22 Colorado sports betting apps available in the market right now. And that list will continue to grow over the weeks and months ahead.

Colorado a top priority for BlueBet

The latest sportsbook to announce its intention of wanting access to the market is Australian sportsbook BlueBet.

In an announcement made last week, Colorado was included in a list of “priority states” with Iowa, Maryland, Tennessee and Virginia. The plan is to enter Iowa, Colorado and Virginia in the first quarter of 2022. As for Maryland and Tennessee, the press release says they must be further down the road.

As Bill Richmond, BlueBet Holdings CEO, said to PlayColorado:

“We’ve launched a license application in Virginia. So it’s the other state we sort of progressed a bit more with. In Colorado, we’re in negotiations with some different organizations with skins there. They’re probably the first three states that we’re really looking at, at the moment (in addition to Iowa).”

Once BlueBet is able to find a casino to partner with, it will then need approval from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (CLGCC). Though that’s not a high hurdle since the CLGCC approves just about every license request.

Experience with US sports could prove an advantage

After that, it’s about getting the app to the public. And with so many available, that could prove difficult. When the app does launch, it will just be a mobile betting platform. There don’t appear to be plans to have a retail sportsbook.

What could prove an advantage for BlueBet is the experience the sportsbook has with U.S. sports.

“U.S. sports are super popular in Australia, which might be something that isn’t necessarily understood,” Richmond said. “When we get to these states like Virginia, Colorado, et cetera, it’s really about showing what we can do in the U.S. market and what our experience will allow us to do.”

Possible name change for BlueBet?

Also look for the sportsbook to have a different name when it goes live in Colorado. It won’t be BlueBet Sportsbook in the U.S. The name comes from “true blue” in Australia, but basically it doesn’t want it to sound anything like DemocratBet. The way Richmond put it:

“We’re probably not going to use the ‘BlueBet’ brand in the U.S. market. Obviously, it’s become quite a divisive thing in the U.S. — the blue and red state sort of thing.”

When you consider that Colorado sports betting has already topped $2 billion in wagers, no wonder sportsbooks want to get into this market.

(Play Iowa’s Russ Mitchell contributed to this report.)

Photo by AP / Jack Dempsey
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Ian St. Clair

Ian St. Clair is an award-winning sports journalist. He is a University of Northern Colorado graduate, Colorado native and has over a decade of experience covering college and professional athletics. Ian does a segment each Saturday on Klahr and Kompany on Denver radio station ESPN 1600 AM.

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