State Of Colorado Continues To Prove It Wants Sports Betting On The Up-And-Up

Written By Ian St. Clair on 09/25/2020 - Last Updated on March 17, 2021

Editor’s Note: The following article represents the views of the author.

People want peace of mind, regardless of the service or the industry. If a company is able to do that, it has cleared the first major hurdle of trust.

That’s the other word that often gets lost in the customer service industry: trust.

Both are hard to earn and easy to lose. It’s like a relationship in that regard.

Sports betting in Colorado is in that phase right now. The target is the people who are on the fence about this whole sports gambling thing.

Colorado sports betting looks to shake long-held stigma

Perhaps they’re intrigued, but they can’t shake the stigma.

The kind that summons up images of dark-alley deals with bookies. If you don’t pay them, they’ll bust your kneecaps.

Then there’s the 1919 Chicago White Sox (the Black Sox scandal) and Pete Rose stigma. That’s where athletes and coaches have money on games and influence outcomes to cash in.

At the most recent Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (CLGCC) meeting, the commission tackled peace of mind and trust in a major way.

No betting kiosks at betting lounges

Toward the end of the meeting, Dan Hartman took the time to address the various marketing deals that Colorado betting apps have made with local franchises.

Included in those deals are on-site betting lounges at both Empower Field at Mile High Stadium and Pepsi Center.

The Denver Broncos will have an on-site betting lounge with Betfred, as well as an in-stadium betting lounge with BetMGM.

The Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Mammoth and the Pepsi Center have an exclusive sports betting deal with PointsBet. The agreement includes betting destinations at the Pepsi Center.

While the new sports betting agreement between the Colorado Rockies and DraftKings doesn’t include a betting lounge at Coors Field, if one eventually comes about, this edict would apply there as well.

Hartman, the director of the Colorado Division of Gaming (DOG), made it clear that while they are “betting” lounges, none will have betting kiosks. People who visit the lounges of the various sports betting companies can still bet on their personal devices, but they are not retail sportsbooks.

Under Colorado state law, the only places that can have betting kiosks are casinos in the three gaming towns of Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek. And only if they have been approved licenses to operate a retail sportsbook from the CLGCC.

Unless the Colorado Legislature changes the rule, that’s how those betting lounges will operate.

Education part of PointsBet/CU deal

To steal a betting adjective, Hartman doubled down on the subjects of peace of mind and trust.

In the same discussion, he talked about the University of Colorado and PointBet sports betting deal. Again, he said no betting kiosks would be at either Folsom Field or the CU Events Center. That’s prescient now since the Pac-12 announced football and basketball would return later this year.

But Hartman also highlighted an overlooked facet of the partnership — education.

Because of this agreement, students at CU interested in sports betting can intern at PointsBet. That works because the company is building its headquarters in LoDo, which is in downtown Denver.

Colorado is taking crucial steps to earn trust

It may seem like a small thing to the general public.

The director of the division of gaming stating that the betting lounges for the Avalanche, Nuggets and Broncos (perhaps the Rockies, in the future) not having betting kiosks isn’t earth-shattering news.

Stating implicitly that the CU deal won’t include betting kiosks and will help educate students on the industry may elicit nothing more than a shrug of the shoulders.

But it shows how serious the state is taking sports betting. In a roundabout way, this also proves how the state is taking responsible gambling seriously.

It also highlights how crucial it views that peace of mind and trust to potential users. Heck, even the people who will never bet on sports.

Imagine if Hartman didn’t say those things, the door opens to doubt the Colorado sports betting market.

The people who shrug at it now could use that lack of vocalizing as a sign of how the state is doing it wrong. They could then believe that the long-held stigma of sports betting is, in fact, real.

To see the state take sports betting regulation so seriously can help deliver peace of mind and trust to future customers. It then showcases that this new form of entertainment is on the up-and-up.

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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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