State regulators in Colorado are still looking at May 1 for their target date to launch legalized sports betting. Voters throughout the state narrowly approved a sports betting law last November, and the state has been working hard on getting things up and running.
The Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission has been busy issuing licenses to prospective companies, and more applications continue to pile in. The sports world is currently shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, and it is unclear at this time what impact it might have on the May 1 target date.
Casinos across the state of Colorado are currently shut down through mid-April in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. The CLGCC is planning on holding a few extra meetings per month to review license applications and approve licenses to sports betting companies.
Casinos throughout the state had been working hard to establish an area where sports betting could be done on-site, but those projects have come to a halt as well.
There was a meeting held on Thursday night, and 16 new licenses were approved for 11 companies hoping to operate sports betting in the state. Twin River and Full House Resorts both received master licenses at that meeting.
Three other big-name companies also received a license to launch online sports betting in the state. Those three companies were FanDuel Sportsbook, Fox Bet, and PointsBet.
PointsBet was also able to secure a land-based license on Thursday night. There are now a total of 31 companies that have some sort of sports betting license to operate in the state of Colorado.
Sharpton Asks State To Halt Issuing Licenses
Reverend Al Sharpton recently wrote a letter to Governor Jared Polis asking that the state stop issuing licenses to out-of-state companies. Sharpton is worried that these out-of-state companies will have little regard for the casino and sportsbook workers, many of whom are people of color or come from low-income families.
Sharpton made it very clear that he supports the legislation of sports betting, but he wants Colorado to think carefully about what companies that they issue licenses to.
The biggest company that Sharpton has a problem with is Twin River, which is located in the state of Rhode Island. Soohyung Kim is Twin River’s biggest shareholder, and he has been a part of some shady hedge funds in recent years.
Kim holds a 32% share of Twin River through his hedge fund, Standard General. Kim was also recently named chairman of the company, which gives him more authority than he previously had.
Twin River will operate three casinos in the state of Colorado when the sports betting industry is launched, and Sharpton doesn’t feel that the workers are safe under the operation of this company.
Sharpton has cited the massive closure of casinos during the coronavirus pandemic, and the loss of thousands of jobs, as the biggest reason for his distrust in Twin River.