DraftKings Continues Its Climb To The Top With New Retail Sportsbook In Colorado

Written By Marco Cerino on July 11, 2020
DraftKings Colorado Mardi Gras

Friday saw gaming powerhouse DraftKings commence live sports betting operations in Colorado, with the opening of windows at the Mardi Gras Casino in Black Hawk. 

The opening now gives DK seven retail locations in five states. The deal was first announced Thursday with Mardi Gras’ parent company Twin Rivers Worldwide Holdings.

The location will offer self-serve kiosks, a betting window, and flat-screen TVs. The venue opening Friday on the casino’s first floor will be temporary, as the casino builds a permanent, more luxurious space to open in the future.

“This partnership with DraftKings allows us to provide unmatched sports betting experience to Coloradans, not only with their mobile betting access but also with this exciting DraftKings retail sportsbook location,” said George Papanier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Twin River Worldwide Holdings, in a statement. “We are looking forward to introducing our guests to the fully renovated space in the coming months and until that time, are glad to be able to give our guests the ability to safely start placing bets as many professional sports begin to resume in the coming weeks.”

The retail operations come two months after DraftKings Sportsbook and competitors opened Colorado with online betting. In May 2020, the states’ operators did over $25 million in the handle, despite all national major leagues and college sports not running due to COVID-19 shutdowns.

“As our partners at Mardi Gras Casino work to expand their current operations and location, we are thrilled to come together to provide the most exciting, real time gaming opportunities as sports begin to make their return,” said Ezra Kucharz, DraftKings’ Chief Business Officer. “DraftKings and Mardi Gras Casino are committed to providing a safe, immersive and entertaining gaming environment to ensure sports fans in Colorado have the most enjoyable experience possible.”

Rocky Mountain High

Mardi Gras is one of a few casinos west of Denver and Boulder, accessible by a state road. Colorado has over 30 casinos, operated by tribes and commercial owners. 

Twenty-five million-plus handle in a month with sparse offerings is a major win for gaming interests. PlayColorado.com believes the state’s market could mature to $6 billion a year in handle, which would make it a major competitor with bordering Nevada.

With six operators available in May, expect Colorado to be a major player in the betting game, especially with a strong population center in Denver, and the major attraction of ski resorts in the winter. Tired from a long day on the slopes in Vail or Aspen? Following games on a betting app sounds like a nice alternative to the nightlife scene and expensive dinners.

Colorado also becomes a major test market for other states considering sports betting. Right now, states are strapped for cash with billions in tax revenue lost from the coronavirus. Colorado already has legalized cannabis and the teachers in Denver still went on strike last year demanding higher wages.

The state’s licensing fees are in the tens of thousands, not the millions like Pennsylvania sports betting and others. PointsBet will be coming to the state soon, as will other operators. 

More competition is always a good thing for players. With more companies competing for handle, that usually means more promotions, odds boosts, even better prices on game days.

DraftKings and rival FanDuel have been hammering UFC events during the coronavirus shutdowns and these offers have resulted in record numbers. Add football to the mix in a big state like Colorado, where fans love their Saturdays and Sundays, and this could get really interesting. 

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