Is Colorado set to be the next big American sports betting success story? If predictions made by PlayColorado.com, a gaming industry trade group focused on regulated Colorado sports betting, are any indication – that’s exactly what’s going to happen. But despite the group’s rosy outlook, the COVID-19 crisis could put the kibosh on the Centennial State’s big plans for regulated sports betting success.

Last fall, when the world was “normal”, Colorado voters approved regulated sports betting in an initiative that just barely squeaked out a victory. Whether they realized it or not, they’d approved a very sharp, well-thought framework for regulated sports wagering that was designed to mirror the most successful markets in the country, including New Jersey and Nevada.

Colorado’s measure includes a ten percent tax on net revenue, which is just a hair more than New Jersey’s 9.75 percent tax. The bill also stopped short of setting a maximum wager, a decision that’s being left up to the individual casinos. And with mobile betting as the centerpiece of the action, gamblers won’t have to make long drives up to the three mountain towns where gambling is legal in the state.

According to a press release from PlayColorado.com, all that should add up to a sports betting market that pulls in somewhere around $400 million a year in profits on $6 billion in wagers when fully mature. That would put an additional $40 million a year in state coffers.

Of course Colorado’s big dreams depend on a future where professional and college sports are actually played and that may still be a ways off in the future. For now, however, the state’s gambling industry is betting that smart regulation and return to business-as-usual will create one of the most robust sports betting markets in America.


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