State To Oversee Master List Of Approved Sports Betting Prop Bets, Leagues And Events

Posted on February 27, 2020

Colorado is only two months away from the earliest date (May 1) that legalized sports wagering can go live, and the Centennial State now has more defined regulations on what types of wagers will be permitted.

The Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission on Feb. 20, convened for its regular third-Thursday-of-the-month meeting in Golden. The official adaptation of 41 pages of sports wagering regulations and approval of seven betting licenses were the meeting’s headliners, but proposition-wager guidelines also were covered.

Sports betting master prop bet “catalog” to be kept

Per the Colorado Division of Gaming’s new regulations, proposition (prop) bets are defined as “a bet regarding the occurrence or non-occurrence of a certain outcome during an event that does not directly reflect the event’s final outcome.”

A fairly standard definition by any conventional measure, but Dan Hartman, director of state’s Gaming Enforcement Division, told The Denver Post at the Feb. 20 meeting that his agency will oversee a “catalog”/master list of eligible bets, including proposition wagers. That list will be continually updated and made available to the state’s sportsbook operators.

And if a sportsbook wants to offer a particular prop bet not contained in the catalog, it must submit an application to the Colorado Division of Gaming at least 72 hours prior to that event opening to public wagering.

Some catalog consternation but all appears on track

Mark Grueskin, an attorney representing several of the state’s casinos at the meeting, made it clear he isn’t a fan of the calalog/list approach, telling the Post it could present a challenge. “This could be an extraordinarily long, changing day-by-day kind of list,” he said.

However with the state already giving the green light to wagering on professional, collegiate and Olympic events, including motor sports, golf and tennis, there’s little reason to doubt that the traditional fare of prop bets – particularly the popular NFL team and player props – will be on the boards at most of the major Colorado sportsbooks.

The one notable exception is that proposition wagering on the performances of individual collegiate athletes will not be allowed.

Of course, wagering on high school or club-level events of any kind – whether they be prop bets or wagering on event outcomes – also won’t be permitted in Colorado.

Prop bets not lacking in popularity

Most any rudimentary rundown on the history of U.S. prop wagering will invariably note that it truly gained its industry foothold in 1986 with bettors cashing on the William “Refrigerator” Perry touchdown prop in Super Bowl XX.

Since then, prop wagering has not only become a Super Bowl phenomenon – some Las Vegas sportsbooks have “unveiling” parties 10 days before the game itself, revealing 400-some props – but it has spread to the regular season and other sports as well, with odds being posted on an NBA player’s triple-double chances in a game or a golfer’s score on a particular hole.

Sportsbooks such as DraftKings and FanDuel, which have partnered with Twin River Worldwide Holdings’ Colorado casinos (Mardi Gras, Golden Gulch, Golden Gate), have naturally bridged the Daily Fantasy Sports-prop bets gap by offering a variety of individual statistical props on just about any contest in the major-sports rotation.

For instance, as we circle back to Colorado sports, the prop-bet list for the Tuesday, Feb. 25 Denver Nuggets-Detroit Pistons contest on FanDuel sportsbook’s national site included 48 different individual player props alone, ranging from who would score the game’s first basket to a respective player’s rebound-plus-assist totals.

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Ken Pomponio

Ken Pomponio is a fourth-generation Coloradan and career sports journalist with more than 30 years covering the gamut from the preps to the pros. He also is long-time sports-wagering enthusiast eager to assist in the understanding of this burgeoning U.S. industry. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/kenpomp.

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