Sports Betting Working Groups Show Stakeholders Have A Handle On The Future

Posted By Derek Helling on February 5, 2020 - Last Updated on March 31, 2020

During two sports betting working groups on Friday, Jan. 31, there was little debate. As a matter of fact, there wasn’t much criticism of Colorado’s proposed rules for legal sports betting.

While sportsbook operators coming to the state did make some suggestions, they were mostly procedural. That’s a good sign for the Centennial State.

What issues came up during the sports betting working groups?

Representatives of several sportsbooks coming to Colorado posed a few questions. They largely involved how to comply with the state’s rules.

For example, a representative for FanDuel asked about clearance from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission for certain events. The example used was the NBA All-Star Skills Competition.

FanDuel expressed concern about whether each book needed to request such permission on its own or if the state would add items to one master list. The CLGCC intends to keep and update one master list.

Another pertinent question involved how much sportsbooks had to hold. The point of confusion was on whether Colorado sportsbooks would have to hold enough funds to cover all bets that have been placed or just those that are winning.

Obviously, the former is a higher standard than the latter. Another participant stated that bets on multiple sides of an event can’t all win.

The commission received the point well but gave no definitive answer. The commission will have to decide on that soon.

The fact that none of the stakeholders raised major issues with proposed rules is positive. That points toward the state being on track for its target date.

Why the lack of debate at the meetings is a good sign

If the state is going to allow legal sportsbooks to start accepting wagers on May 1, time is of the essence. That’s the target date because that’s the first day allowable under law.

Once the commission finalizes the rules, sportsbook operators can build out their online and retail products with confidence. Many operators like theScore Bet are interested in Colorado.

In turn, the commission should have more confidence in its proposed rules because of the lack of objections to them by license holders. Those license holders can expect that finalization soon.

Finalizing the rules also allows the commission to turn its attention to other matters. Those include reviewing license applications and inspecting operators for compliance with those rules.

Although there are no further meetings on the calendar right now, these two sessions may not be the last before the commission finalizes the rules. It doesn’t mean that interested citizens and stakeholders have missed their chance to get their two cents in, either.

Colorado is still open for feedback on its rules proposals

Anyone can still email any comments on proposed rules to the commission for review. The commission hasn’t announced an end for its public comment period.

Because of that, Coloradans should assume they can still comment until the commission finalizes the rules. Beyond that point, however, modifications become more difficult.

The two meetings on Friday are great signs that the state is on track for May 1. Barring unforeseen circumstances, that should be the day that legal sportsbooks in the state open their doors and websites.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. 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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