Colorado Offers $14M In Tax Incentives To Lure Mystery Online Sportsbook

Written By T.J. McBride on 04/26/2023
Colorado offers $14M to lure mystery online sportsbook

Colorado is offering up to $14 million in tax credits to an unnamed online sportsbook to build its headquarters in Colorado. The company reportedly plans to invest $40 million to build a 120,000-square-foot facility and is expected to create 807 net new jobs.

Tha average wage would be $97,238.

So far, Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade is keeping quiet about the name of the UK-based sports betting company. But all signs point to it being Bet365.

Majority of tax incentives are to lure online sports company to Colorado

Colorado online sports betting celebrates its 3rd anniversary in May. With two of the state’s major professional sports teams in the playoffs (Colorado Avalanche in the NHL and Denver Nuggets in the NBA), betting should be brisk in Colorado over the next two months. Colorado ranks third in sports betting per capita in the US, with each bettor wagering an average of $833 in the last 12 months.

Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) recently granted more than $20 million in tax credits to several companies to bring jobs to the state. The majority would go to the online sports betting operator. These “job growth incentive tax credits” will only be awarded if companies hit their respective job creation plans.

The online sports company is using the code name “Project Forge.”

Company also considering Arizona or Tennessee to build headquarters

The online sportsbook submitted its plan to OEDIT to build its US headquarters in Colorado. It wants to take advantage of the organization’s Job Growth Incentive Tax Credit program. In total, if all criteria are met, the sportsbook could receive $14,055,942 in tax credits over an eight-year period.

The company is supposedly also considering Arizona or Tennessee to build its headquarters. The 807 new net jobs promised in Colorado would be senior leadership roles and daily operations positions.

To earn the tax credits, the company must reach three benchmarks.

  • The creation of 807 net new full-time jobs at a minimum average annual wage of $89,700.
  • The maintenance of the net new jobs in Colorado for one full year before any credits become vested.
  • The creation and maintenance of at least 20 net new jobs before any credits are issued.

Several clues point to Project Forge being Bet365

It’s common for economic development organizations not to name companies it’s trying to lure. The OEDIT, however, offers a clue to the identity of the company in its summary of Project Forge.

“Project Forge’s expansion seeks to bring the company’s reputation and brand awareness to the US as its newest growth frontier. While the company has a presence in New Jersey, the project will serve as a formal stake in the ground, the main office for the US. The company estimates over $40 million in capital investment to build out, customize and furnish approximately 120,000 sq. ft. of office space to accommodate its large workforce and offer the kind of environment and amenities expected of today’s employees.”

“The company has a presence in New Jersey,” which Bet365 does. It operates in only two states besides Colorado and New Jersey: Ohio and Virginia.

The OEDIT also describes the company as a “global leader in the gaming sector.” That means it has to be one of the larger online sportsbooks, like Bet365. It says the company “has shaped the industry over the last 20 years.” Bet365 began 23 years ago in North Staffordshire, UK.

The OEDIT also says the online sports betting company employs over 6,000 in total, none of which are in Colorado. That also fits with Bet365. The company’s website says it employs 7,000 people.

The company has not confirmed nor denied whether it is Project Forge, but several clues point to it. Either way, if Colorado can lure the sportsbook to the state, it will be a big economic boost for Colorado and for the betting industry in the state as a whole.

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T.J. McBride

T.J. McBride is a Denver-based writer and reporter with an extensive background in covering the NBA and Denver Nuggets. T.J. is Southern California native who provides news and analysis on the legal gambling industry across a number of Catena Media's regional US sites.

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