Carousel Group’s National Sports Betting Ambitions Begin In Colorado

Written By Ian St. Clair on 05/27/2020

When the sports betting partnership between the Carousel Group and Johnny Nolon’s Casino was announced, it raised a few eyebrows.

Along with “Who is the Carousel Group?”

Carousel Group announced the pairing received licensing approval from the Colorado Division of Gaming earlier this year.

The group will provide the online sportsbook mobile betting app for customers within Colorado state lines. That will happen via its website.

Cripple Creek is home to Johnny Nolon’s.

Carousel Group Colorado launch planned for summer 2020

For now, the plan is for a full launch no later than Sept. 1. That’s when customers can actually place wagers. There is also a plan for a soft-launch for both the site and app in early July.

The Carousel Group was established in 2017 with the mission to build a global iGaming empire in the regulated online gambling space.

Colorado is the first state in which Carousel Group will offer its products and services.

“We believe Colorado to be not only one of the most passionate sporting states in the country, it’s also a progressive and forward-thinking state that aligns perfectly with our core values,” Daniel Graetzer, the CEO at Carousel Group, said to PlayColorado in an email interview. “Not to mention that it’s one of the most beautiful states in the US. Cripple Creek is like being on a movie set. I highly recommend making the trip up there.”

Strong web domain makes up for lack of brand recognition

For the experienced sports bettors, the company’s web domain may look a little familiar.

In terms of a search engine optimization (SEO) standpoint, is gold.

The Carousel Group purchased the domain in 2018.

“We wanted a domain that was strong and straightforward, not to hide behind a brand, nor to have to explain what we do,” Graetzer said. “Hopefully, sports bettors won’t have any problem recalling our brand as it’s already in their everyday vocabulary.”

“We acquired a number of domains recently and have aspirations to also push into the horse racing space through along with some new brands planned for the future.”

Carousel wants to be in five states by the end of 2021

Once the Carousel Group launches its sports betting app and website in Colorado, the goal is to expand to other states and to be licensed in five by the end of 2021.

“We will be expanding into the New Jersey market near the end of 2020,” Graetzer said to PlayColorado. “And we are actively pursuing other states as we grow our national and international footprint.”

With the Sky Ute Sportsbook app set for a soft-launch in the upcoming week, that will bring the total to seven Colorado apps that offer sports betting since the launch on May 1. There are currently 17 app licensees planning to launch.

Launch posing its challenges

To launch in your first state is difficult enough for a sports betting company, but when you throw a global pandemic into the equation, let’s just say it makes matters a skosh more interesting.

“It hasn’t been without its challenges, but we truly believe sports will come back stronger than ever and so we have continued to invest in our business throughout the crisis,” Graetzer said. “The sports industry is very resilient and will always find a way to survive.”

Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Carousel Group will put its focus on Colorado and find a way to take hold in a fresh betting market.

And, who knows, perhaps raise some more eyebrows in the process.

“As with our team, Coloradans are passionate about two things: their outdoors and their sports,” Graetzer said. “ is a sports betting brand for everyone; we’re open, transparent and always put the customer first, and we feel that Colorado also embraces that down-to-earth sentimentality.”

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Ian St. Clair

Ian is an award-winning sports journalist and a University of Northern Colorado graduate. He’s a Colorado native and has over a decade of experience covering college and professional athletics. He broke into the gambling industry right as Colorado launched legal sports betting in 2020. Ian now manages the sites for some of the biggest gambling markets in North America and is an analyst for PlayColorado.

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