Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission Approves 31 Licenses At Thursday Meeting

Written By Ian St. Clair on 04/02/2020
Colorado sports betting casino closed open

Unparalleled times call for unconventional methods. 

Such was the case on Thursday for the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission’s special meeting, held via Cisco Webex. Welcome to the new normal in the world of social distancing and stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic. State law requires the meetings to be open to the public, and anyone who had the link could participate online or by phone. 

After an executive session behind closed doors, the public portion of Thursday’s meeting lasted about 20 minutes. In that time, the five commissioners approved 31 total licenses of various kinds to keep the momentum of the May 1 launch date going forward.

“We got a lot of licenses approved today,” Colorado Division of Gaming director Dan Hartman said after the license approvals. “We’re moving forward with the administrative part of sports betting and certainly this is a big piece to get that done. Most of our people are rotating shifts in mountain towns, and we’re all working through this new world.”


Licenses approved 

The CLGCC considered license applications for 10 first-time minor vendors, nine first-time masters, six temporary sports betting internet operators, three temporary sports betting operators, a first-time major vendor, a temporary major vendor and a first-time manufacturer distributor license. As has held true at previous meetings, the commission approved all licenses.

That means three more prominent online sportsbook brands will establish themselves in the Centennial State — BetMGM, BetRivers and William Hill. BetMGM and William Hill were also approved for licensure in retail action. William Hill would do so at the Isle of Capri and Lady Luck casinos in Black Hawk.

The approval of the first-time master license applications grant nine more Colorado casinos the privilege of offering wagering on sporting events to prospective bettors. 

While the commission’s agenda does not specify where Roar Digital will operate a brick-and-mortar sportsbook, it was also approved for licensure on Thursday.

Of the companies approved for a temporary major vendor license, Sportradar is one of the best known. The company provides a myriad of services, such as official data feeds for the NFL.

Among the lesser-known online brands that got approval on Thursday is Circa Sports. Colorado is the first venture for the brand outside of Las Vegas.


Still on target for May 1

While casinos, citizens and the state are in a holding pattern with no idea what is in store for tomorrow let alone a month from now, the CLGCC continues to push forward. The plan is and remains to be ready for the May 1 launch date, as Thursday’s special meeting shows. 

What prospective bettors will bet on and when they would be able to do it at a Colorado casino remains anyone’s best guess. 

There is still uncertainty as to when the NBA or NHL will reconvene their seasons, if they do so at all. It is worth noting that Sports Illustrated reported on Thursday that the NBA is considering playing its entire postseason under quarantine in Las Vegas, and without fans in attendance. The new setup would resemble a college basketball conference tournament and could be a lot of fun. It would also give Denver Nuggets fans the ability to not only watch but bet on their team. When games were halted, the Nuggets were third in the Western Conference, trailing the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers. 

Perhaps the NHL could do something similar, say in one of the Original Six cities of Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Montreal, New York or Toronto. The Colorado Avalanche were second in the Central Division standings behind the St. Louis Blues, trailing by only two points and had a game in hand.

As for Colorado Rockies and MLB fans, the only talk has been what to do if the season is cancelled. 


NFL Draft still taking place

The good news for Denver Broncos and NFL fans is the NFL Draft is still on for late April. So as this story noted earlier this week, you can still place future and props bets. Who will the Broncos select with the No. 15 pick? Perhaps a player like Alabama receiver Henry Ruggs or a defensive player? 

Unparalleled times call for unconventional methods. 

That’s true for both the CLGCC as it keeps pushing forward with license approvals, and for Colorado sports bettors as they ponder what they could wager on come May 1.       

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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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