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Legalized sports betting goes live in Colorado

Legalized sports betting went active in the state of Colorado on May 1 after voters narrowly approved the measure in November 2019.

The highly-anticipated law comes into effect at a time when there is virtually no live sports to bet on due to the effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

The Colorado Division of Gaming has approved four operators to launch online sportsbooks effective immediately. They are: DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, BetRivers and betMGM.

In total, 17 digital sports books are licensed to operate in the state. It is expected that the likes of PointsBet, SBK, Fox Bet and BetWildwood will go live in the coming weeks. At present, only online betting will be allowed as the state’s 33 casinos remain closed because of the coronavirus crisis.

Unlike in many other states, Colorado state regulations allow customers to create and fund sports betting accounts remotely, rather than in person in a casino. Bettors must located physically within state borders to place bets, something that will be enforced by geolocation technology.

“There was going to be a home Rockies game and the Kentucky Derby was going to be this Saturday so there was going to be this great rollout of sports betting here in Colorado. But now we’re in a new world,” said state Rep. Alec Garnett, who helped push the bipartisan legislation forward. “Life is different without sports. So it’s a different type of launch, but the point is the Division of Gaming deserves a tremendous amount of credit for working with the regulated entities. I believe it’s going to protect consumers, most importantly.”

Colorado follows Illinois, Michigan and Montana in launching legalized sports betting this year. Washington, D.C., has postponed its rollout, which was scheduled for March, due to the coronavirus outbreak.