When sports betting was approved by Colorado voters last November, uncertainty was a given. The Centennial State was set to embark on a new journey that only 17 other states had taken.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and threw gasoline on the uncertainty fire.
On top of getting prepped for legal, regulated sports betting, the state is dealing with how to fight the coronavirus. Casinos closed and sports halted.
What’s next for Colorado casinos?
Now, as Colorado is a few days away from launching sports betting on Friday, one question remains: What does this mean for casinos?
One of the perks to the Colorado Division of Gaming’s rules on sports betting is users can sign up for their favorite gaming app remotely. That’s unlike Las Vegas, which requires its users to register at a casino.
In Colorado, users can sign up from the comfort of their couch.
That’s beneficial to both the casinos and the users, especially amidst the “safer at home” policy instituted on Monday by Gov. Jared Polis. It’s the latest initiative by the governor and the state to fight the spread of coronavirus.
Until Monday, it was unclear where casinos fell in this directive.
Would they fall under the retail section where they could open on May 1 but with restrictions?
At his daily news conference on Monday, Polis gave the first indication yet as to where casinos stand in the state’s order — right next to bars and nightclubs.
“The problem is they are inherently social and there is no state in the country that has figured that out.”
Polis added that he hopes Colorado can be among the first states to come up with a solution that would allow casinos, nightclubs, and bars to open again to the public in some fashion.
Colorado casinos have lost out on about $81 million since they were shut down on March 16 due to COVID-19. They will collectively lose $13.5 million each week they remain closed. via @ReporterAshley https://t.co/EpdMqmnpar
— Tiney Ricciardi (@tineywristwatch) April 28, 2020
Casinos and sportsbooks would appreciate that, given they’ve lost about $81 million in revenue since they closed on March 16. Properties have furloughed countless casino workers in the gaming towns of Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek.
As the local FOX affiliate reported on Monday, Colorado casinos will collectively lose $13.5 million each week they remain closed.
When sports betting launches on Friday, there will be some relief, yet nowhere near what casinos thought they would get even in February.
Bettors will have online options on launch date
When sports betting officially becomes legal on Friday, patrons will have at least four apps to choose from.
That’s out of 17 scheduled to launch at some point in the future, according to the Denver Post.
Uncertainty was a given once sports betting was approved by Coloradans. As the calendar turns to May that remains the case.
But, as Gov. Polis said, hopefully, Colorado can find a solution for the state’s casinos.
In the meantime, at least some reprieve will arrive via legal CO sports betting apps on Friday.