CLGCC Gives Green Light To DraftKings, theScore Bet

Written By Derek Helling on 03/05/2020 - Last Updated on April 15, 2020
Colorado snowy mountain peeks

A special meeting of the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission went as expected Thursday. The commission awarded license approvals to the appropriate parties.

For Coloradans, that means DraftKings and theScore Bet are coming to their state. The pertinent question now is when.

The details on Thursday’s sports betting license approvals

According to a news release, the CLGCC approved operator and vendor license applications. Jacobs Entertainment has provided theScore Bet an inroad to Colorado, and it’s through that deal that bettors there will access its online sports betting product.

The release did not point to any timeline for the launch of either online or retail betting, however. There was more good news for Colorado bettors in the meeting, as well.

DraftKings was also among the applicants under consideration on Thursday. The commissioners, many of whom were participating via telephone, similarly gave approval to that request.

“DraftKings is excited to receive our temporary license from the Colorado Division of Gaming and looks forward to soon being able to provide sports fans in Colorado with our top-rated mobile and online sportsbook product,” said R. Stanton Dodge, DraftKings’ chief legal officer.

As with theScore Bet, there’s no official announcement about how soon the brick-and-mortar or online components of DraftKings Sportsbook will go live in Colorado. The speed with which the commission has acted on licenses so far points to as soon as possible, however.

Why DraftKings and theScore Bet may make May 1 Day 1 in Colorado

State law says legal sportsbooks in Colorado can’t actually start accepting wagers until May 1. While there’s no guarantee that any online or retail operators will actually be ready to go on that day, all the signs point toward that right now.

The approval of these temporary licenses gives the companies the clearance and confidence they need to begin building out their products. This includes renovating retail space and tweaking the online product to fit Colorado regulations.

The question is whether the next eight weeks will provide sufficient time for that process. Not only do the operators need to secure final approval to start taking bets, but they need to have all their ducks in a row internally as well.

That may be more likely the case on the brick-and-mortar side than for the internet component. Although the fact that the state has approved operator licenses suggests that it may not be long after retail books launch that online facets do the same.

If that’s the case, then Coloradans should have plenty of options in May. The number of approved operators is growing as time passes.

The list of approved licensees in the state so far

DraftKings and theScore Bet join Betfred and PointsBet among consumer-facing sportsbook brands given regulatory approval. A total of 10 casinos — most of which are located in three cities — now have master licenses as well.

There are still brands seeking regulatory approval, the most prominent of which is FanDuel. Like DraftKings, FanDuel has already secured market access through a deal with Twin River Entertainment.

Such approval may come quickly, as the commission seems willing to bend over backward for operators. If that trend continues, May Day could be a banner day for several sportsbook operators in Colorado.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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