The question has undoubtedly bounced around in your mind: What the heck will I bet on when sports betting becomes legal on May 1 in Colorado?
Today, proposition bets are about all bettors and sportsbooks have to offer. Major players, like DraftKings and FanDuel, have amped up their prop bets on the NFL Draft. However, what will prop betting look like in Colorado?
Immediate future of major sports is still up in the air
While the entire state, country and world is shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic, the options are few and far between. Sports have been on hiatus since mid-March, and the various leagues have started exploring how to play again in ways once thought unimaginable.
The MLB has thrown out the possibility of the 2020 regular season looking like spring training, with teams at their facilities in Arizona and Florida in revamped divisions.
The NBA has considered playing the playoffs in Las Vegas.
The NFL is contemplating contingencies that include a potentially shortened schedule, holding games in empty or partially filled stadiums, and moving or rescheduling games if necessary, according to The Washington Post.
The PGA Tour has said, as of right now, it plans to return to the course in June.
That leaves proposition bets, otherwise known as prop bets.
What are prop bets?
Proposition betting is one of the most popular types of wagers in the world. In fact, even people who do not typically gamble on sports often engage in propositions.
The first thing to know about a prop bet is a wager on an event ancillary to the outcome of the game. Take the most recent Super Bowl: Which team received the kickoff or scored first are examples of potential prop bets.
Per the Colorado Division of Gaming’s regulations, proposition bets are defined as “a bet regarding the occurrence or non-occurrence of a certain outcome during an event that does not directly reflect the event’s final outcome.”
Colorado’s Sports Betting Catalog
What does that mean for sportsbooks in Colorado?
The Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (CLGCC) on Thursday discussed and passed the state’s Sports Betting Catalog, which lists all the wagerable events for CO sportsbooks.
That list will be continually updated and made available to the state’s sportsbook operators, as well as the public on the state’s Division of Gaming website.
If a sportsbook wants to offer a particular prop bet not contained in the catalog, it must apply to the Colorado Division of Gaming at least 72 hours prior to that event opening up to public wagering.
That’s where things can get a bit sticky — for both Colorado casinos and sportsbooks.
Will any props get left behind?
Mark Grueskin, an attorney representing several of the state’s casinos, told The Denver Post in February the catalog/master list approach could present a challenge.
“This could be an extraordinarily long, changing day by day kind of list,” he said.
Keep in mind, this was before the coronavirus shut down the state and country. Now, prop bets are pretty much what is available when sports wagering comes on May 1. It’s also pretty much it for sportsbooks, like DraftKings and FanDuel, which have ramped up their prop bet options on the NFL Draft.
What helps alleviate concern, at least so far, the CLGCC is approving anything.
It also doesn’t appear that FanDuel is concerned. As Kevin Hennessey, the director of publicity for FanDuel, told PlayColorado, “We will happily work within the guidelines set by the regulators.”
One area of the catalog that remains up in the air has to do with NCAA prop bets. According to Colorado’s gaming rules, sportsbooks cannot take NCAA wagers on events that do not directly lead to the outcome of contests. With no college sports going on right now, the CLGCC did not reach a final decision.
While the cloud of uncertainty seems to grow by the day, any potential concern that casinos and sportsbooks might have over the master catalog/list, prop bets shouldn’t be one of them.
There has been ample time for operators to get the prop bets they would like to offer approved by the CLGCC. If one were to arise in the future that isn’t in the catalog, sportsbooks have a three-day window to seek approval prior to an event opening to public wagering.
There aren’t any sports to wager on as the May 1 launch draws near in the Centennial State. You will at least have the ability to test your luck with prop bets.