Reach For The Sky: Sky Ute First Tribal-Based Sportsbook To Launch In CO

Written By Ian St. Clair on 06/11/2020 - Last Updated on July 13, 2022

The eighth mobile sportsbook in Colorado is now live.

Sky Ute Sportsbook officially went live earlier this week and is the first to launch from one of Colorado’s tribal casinos. It’s also the first tribal sports betting app available statewide in the US. The app runs in conjunction with Sky Ute Casino and Resort; the Southern Ute Indian Tribe operates the casino in Ignacio.

The Sky Ute app is available to download for Android and Apple mobile devices. USBookmaking, based out of Las Vegas, powers the app. According to USBookmaking, it is the only tribal-owned sportsbook company in the US.

Sky Ute Sportsbook hosted a soft launch a few weeks ago in advance of the official launch.

The current COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lack of major US sports makes the launch just that much more interesting.

“The state of Colorado has approximately 5.75 million residents and, according to the Colorado Tourism Office, welcomed over 85.2 million visitors in 2018,” said Charley Flagg, the general manager of Sky Ute Casino and Resort.

“Taking into consideration the successful Colorado sports franchises coupled with the population and annual visitors, creates an environment that will embrace sports betting,” said Flagg.

Sky Ute retail sportsbook

Adding to the excitement is the brick-and-mortar sportsbook at Sky Ute Casino and Resort.

According to Flagg, Sky Ute Casino relocated and fully renovated its 49 Sports Lounge. Once the casino reopens, that’s when customers will get to experience the sports lounge.

While Colorado casinos in Gilpin and Teller counties will start to reopen next week, there’s no update on when the tribal casinos will do so.

As for the physical sportsbook, Flagg told PlayColorado:

“The beautifully renovated lounge includes a state-of-the-art video wall. (As well as) comfortable seating with built-in power and USB hubs for charging. The ticket writing station is conveniently located next to the lounge along with two self-serve kiosks. And, of course, one can always use their app on any smartphone from the comfort of their seat.”

Sports are coming back

The good news for Sky Ute Sportsbook and prospective bettors is the major sports leagues have plans to return.

The NBA is set to return on July 31.

The NHL announced plans to return in late July or early August. The league and the NHL Players’ Association have agreed to open training camp on July 10.

The English Premier League is slated to return next Wednesday.

In the meantime, Colorado bettors can still wager on UFC, Bundesliga, Spanish La Liga, Russian table tennis, Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) and darts.

Also, the PGA Tour is back with the Charles Schwab Challenge through Sunday.

Yet even without major sports, . The state still saw a >$25.5 million handle for the month of May. It did so with only four sportsbooks for most of the month.

Sky Ute Sportsbook launches at right time

Despite the uncertain times, the Sky Ute online sportsbook is still launching at a promising moment.

What also helps is the Colorado sports betting market is ahead of the curve. Online sports betting has served as a mini lifeline to casinos that have been closed since mid-March.

Since users can download the app from their living room or man cave, it’s served as about the only form of distraction.

“Both the app and eventually the physical sportsbook operation will complement and add to the diversification of gaming products offered by the Sky Ute Casino Resort,” Flagg said.

“Each gaming product offered appeals to a different audience. Being able to reach a new audience and grow clientele is essential to the longevity and sustainability of the overall portfolio of the Sky Ute Casino Resort.”

It’s been a wild ride since the official launch of sports betting in Colorado on May 1. As sports, casinos and life slowly return to normal, Sky Ute Sportsbook is ready to join the state’s new gaming era.

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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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