Colorado Sports Betting Launch: How Coronavirus Impacts the Expected Start
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- Colorado sports betting went live on Friday, May 1, despite all casinos being closed due to Coronavirus.
- Though not much is different, here's how COVID-19 impacts the legal betting launch in the Centennial State.
With social distancing measures impacting industries throughout Colorado, you may be wondering if the state's scheduled launch of legalized sports betting is being effected.
The short answer is no: Colorado sports betting will still launch on May 1.
The long answer is yes, in key two ways.
The first way is that, while the state's stay-at-home order expired on April 27, it implemented another public health order that will keep casinos closed until at least May 26.
But that impacts only the in-person wagering that would've happened inside sportsbooks. Since Colorado is one of five states to legalize full online sports betting (meaning you can open a sportsbook account and bet online, so long as you're inside Colorado state lines), books will still be able to launch online operations on May 1 … if they're ready.
When it's all said and done, the Colorado sports betting market will be among the most robust in the country, but only a few sportsbooks will be ready to roll on May 1.
DraftKings and FanDuel began marketing to bettors in the state prior to the May 1 launch and were first out of the gate in Colorado, accepting bets on Friday. BetMGM and BetRivers also went live in Colorado on May 1, as well.
Other sportsbooks, such as PointsBet, Circa Sports and SuperBook USA, are expected to come online later in May.
The second way coronavirus is impacting the launch is obvious: The menu of sports available to bet on is severely limited.
The launch was supposed to be one day before the Kentucky Derby, one month into the MLB season, and a couple weeks into the NBA and Stanley Cup playoffs. Of course the Derby has since been rescheduled (September 5) and all three of those leagues are on hiatus.
Despite the limitations, sportsbooks are expected to offer a variety of odds to bet on in the interim. That's expected to include markets for non-traditional sports such as eSports and darts, as well as future bets on the NBA title, Super Bowl, NFL season-long player props and more.
As we get later into May, there will be more high-profile events for Coloradans to bet on, such as UFC 249 (May 9), Bundesliga soccer matches (estimated May 9), the return of NASCAR races (reportedly May 17) and the highly anticipated Tiger Woods/Peyton Manning vs. Phil Mickelson/Tom Brady golf match (estimated May 24).