Sports Betting Working Group Meetings Offer Chance For Citizens To Have Their Say

Written By Derek Helling on 01/30/2020
Sports Betting Working Group Meetings Offer Chance To Influence Industry

When a division of the Colorado state government considers changes to its gaming regulations, it won’t do so behind closed doors. The upcoming sports betting working group meetings are open to the public.

The group will meet twice on Friday, Jan. 31. Anyone will be able to have a say on the rule changes the group is considering.

Details of the sports betting working group meetings

The group is meeting at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. MST in the Golden Gaming Office in Golden, Colorado. Both meetings on Friday will have a live stream available to the public for free.

For those who are in attendance, the group is looking for feedback on several proposed rule changes. For the most part, they are the finalizing of the state’s emergency rules.

Those who are not in attendance at the meetings but have opinions on the rules can still take part in the comment period. The easiest way to do so is by sending an email to the group at [email protected].

Most of the items are pretty standard for the sports betting industry. There is one unusual tenet among the rules. It could allow Colorado to stand out.

Colorado’s possible advantage in sports betting rules

The Centennial State takes a different approach to wagers on video game competitions. While most states ban betting on esports outright, Colorado is more open on that subject.

The only regulation speaking to the legitimacy of video game competitions for sportsbooks is found in Rule 5.3. It says that a “video game that is not sanctioned by a sports governing body as an electronic competition” is a prohibited event.

While it’s unclear exactly which groups the state would consider legitimate governing bodies at this point, the language has some potential. In theory, it opens the door to betting on professional esports.

Of course, just because the sportsbooks are allowed to offer action on esports in Colorado doesn’t necessarily mean they will do so. That facet of the industry is still quite small, partially because only New Jersey among states with legal sports betting has authorized such bets up until now.

There is a flaw to the current rules along the same lines, as well. It has to do with in-game bets in the state.

State looks to ban prop bets on college sporting events

The current rules also make it illegal for sportsbooks to accept proposition wagers for college games. That applies to both athletes and their teams.

The rule also makes no differentiation between college games that take place within or outside of the state’s borders. Similarly, it makes no difference whether the athlete or team comes from Colorado.

If the rule stands, legal sportsbooks in Colorado will only be able to take money line, point spread and point total bets on college games. They will be free to post prop bets on professional events, however.

The downside to this rule is that offshore books and legal books in other states may take that kind of action. That means Colorado sportsbooks and the state would miss out on that revenue.

Anyone who would like to see that or any other rule changed has a chance to voice that opinion on Friday. The comment period in Colorado is now open.

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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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