The Sky Ute Casino Resort made history this week as the first tribal gaming concern to enter the US sports betting market. It’s a huge achievement that, hopefully, will get a boost from the increasing number of professional sporting events for players to actually wager on.
Located in Ignacio, Colorado, in the southern part of the state, the Sky Ute Casino doesn’t have a huge footprint in the Colorado casino market, but with mobile wagering, they don’t really need it. The Utes’ mobile sports betting app is available to anyone of age in Colorado and had its official launch earlier this week.
Of course there aren’t a lot of sporting events that appeal to Americans to wager on, but that hasn’t dampened enthusiasm from the tribe’s director of marketing, Amanda Hopkins. In an interview with the Durango Herald she said, “We’re excited. It’s a whole new revenue stream for us.”
Sky Ute has contracted with US Bookmaking to run the actual sportsbook side of the operation and is setting up a physical sportsbook at their brick and mortar site.
The tribe knows that it’s in some very competitive territory, but isn’t swayed. Hopkins commented on the competition saying “We’re competing against some pretty heavy hitters that are operating out of the mountain towns. I know that the State published that the sports book for those that they regulate had a $25.5 million handle in May – now that does not include any deductions for taxes, pay-outs, etc. I think we can probably give you some generalizations after we’ve been operating for a month or so. Maybe we might even have some sports to bet on in the near future.”
Either way, they’re the first tribe to the sports betting market and that counts for something.