Potential Sportsbook Providers In Colorado Argue About A New Analysis
DENVER – A new sports betting analysis released causes potential sportsbook providers to argue about its accuracy.
What The Report Says
The Innovation Group has released a market analysis about how much revenue Colorado could generate if the state legalizes sports betting. The analysis states that sports wagering could bring in up to $361 million in revenue by 2023. The study goes further to say that on track and off-track locations would generate $131.4 million, more than a third of the total revenue.
One of the key factors about this analysis is where it assumes sportsbooks are opened. The study is based off the fact that sportsbooks are online, on mobile devices, on and off tracks, and in casinos. The argument is that more sportsbook locations means that more money will be generated and provide more revenue for the state. The study was paid for by the state’s only horse track in Aurora.
This immediately received scrutiny from rivals in the casino industry. The casinos believe that the horse track paid for this analysis so they could become the sportsbook providers instead of them. The study says that if casinos are the sole provider for sports betting, then far less money will be taken in by the state because the casinos are an hour drive away from any major metro areas.
Comparisons From Las Vegas
Casinos responded by saying that bettors will not have to drive to drive into the mountains if bettors can use a mobile app they provide to wager on sports. Further doubt was casted because $360 million is far too high according to Jay Korengay, the executive vice president of operations at the Superbook in Las Vegas.
In 2018, Nevada only brought in $301 million in wagers in 2018. $20 million of that money was taxed to the state. He also says that most reports about sports betting money usually isn’t revenue for the state, but rather, it is all the money that would be wagered.
Korengay further goes on by saying that sportsbooks aren’t as reliable as slots are in providing revenue because there are ups and downs for both the sportsbooks and the players. He tops it off by saying that legalizing sports betting will not provide as much money as legalizing marijuana did for Colorado.
Lawmakers Want To Legalize Sports Betting
Even though this analysis has caused doubt in some people, lawmakers are still very interested in providing sports gambling for the Centennial State. Sate Houses Majority Leader Alec Garnett wants to draft and legalize a sports betting bill by the end of this legislation session. There are a number of things that sports wagering in Colorado has to accomplish before it can become law.
Garnett wants to make sure that the horse track and the casinos can both get into the sports wagering action. Garnett doesn’t want to allow sports betting to threaten each other’s businesses. He also wants to make sure that the state and sportsbook providers can properly control the wagering action.
“We don’t want it too big that we can’t regulate it property,” Garnett said, but “we don’t want it too small that the black market continues to exist.”
Either way, it will be up to the voters to decide if they want sports wagering in Colorado. A law requires that any tax increases to be brought to the voters first. Since sports wagering revenue would be taxed, that is technically an increase in taxes. Once a sports betting bill is drafted and it passes, it will be brought to the voters in November.
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