Online gambling is big business. That’s old news to residents of Colorado, where more than $8 billion has been laid down in wagers since sports betting went live in May 2020. The industry generates more than $1 million in tax revenue every month, and brought in a record $1.8 million in August.
Yet even that could be the tip of the iceberg. Online casino provider Playstar has this month set the rumor mill in motion that Colorado could be looking to legalize other forms of online gambling. The operator, which is already a key player in New Jersey, Indiana and Pennsylvania, has forged a partnership with GF Gaming that will give it swift access to the Colorado online casino market – assuming, of course, that such a market comes into existence.
A preemptive strike
While online sports betting is now legal in more states than not, online casino legalization has not spread at the same speed. Perhaps it is due to casino regulations being bound up with long-standing agreements with tribal groups. Perhaps it is because online casinos do not have backers like Jerry Jones. Or perhaps it is just that casino games have yet to quite attain the social acceptability of putting a few dollars on your favorite NFL or MLB team of a weekend.
Whatever the reason, only six states have legalized online casinos. PlayStar has done the business equivalent of putting all its chips on black 37 in positioning itself for a pre-emptive strike on the Colorado market. The significance of the partnership with GF Gaming is that the latter owns the Easy Street and Famous Bonanza Casinos in Central City. If Colorado does legalize online casinos, it will most likely go down the same path as others have before it and provide market access to casinos that already have licensed land-based facilities – and to their partner businesses.
Online gambling in Colorado
So do the business development managers at PlayStar know something that the rest of us don’t? The answer is probably no, but like any of us, they can see which way the wind is blowing. People talk about online casinos as if they would be some wonderful new invention, but the truth is there are already opportunities out there. Review companies like Gamble Online go to great lengths bringing online gamblers up to date information on the most trusted online casinos for USA players. It’s just that they are all by necessity based outside Colorado at present. That means a missed opportunity to provide locally regulated online casino facilities to an audience that is ready and waiting. It also means missing out on a market that is worth millions every month in tax revenue.
Colorado has no online casino bills under debate at present. However, having relaxed gambling laws as well as legalizing sports betting two years ago, it would come as little surprise to anyone if such a bill were to appear over the coming months.