After being in a major slump due to the coronavirus shutdowns, Colorado sports betting is performing even better than expectations as leagues get back in full swing . Colorado debuted sports betting in May, even though sports were basically still shut down. The Centennial State had been preparing for a sports betting launch well ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic though.

A Colorado gaming official said, “Although there was a major shutdown of sports and other industries, we went ahead with launching sports betting during the first week of May 2020. It was lackluster at best, due to there not being a lot to bet on. However we encouraged people to set up their sports betting accounts, so as soon as sports got the green light, they would be ready to actively participate in sports betting.’

That strategy seemed to pay off for the state. Colorado’s numbers are boosted by having the return of the Broncos and the NFL in general as well as a deep run by the hometown Denver Nuggets in the NBA playoffs.

Sports Betting Good for the Economy

The River North Art District is home to very trendy art galleries and coffee houses, but was shuttered during the past several months due to COVID mandates. A store owner who has an art gallery in the “RiNo” district weighed in on sports betting, saying:

‘‘There has been sports betting going on for a long time, but illegally. It’s important for the state that now sports betting will be taxed and the money can be used for the water program and other much needed social programs.”

The owner added, “It’s no one’s fault that everything has been locked down, but the comeback has been a welcomed relief. Hopefully many of the businesses in this area can reopen, sadly he said, some of the businesses have been permanently lost.”

Sports betting has changed the whole atmosphere for the casinos of Colorado’s historic mining towns, which legalized gambling almost three decades again. Most of the casinos in the state have signed sports betting deals during the virus shut down. Another huge deal that has occurred in the state was a partnership between sports betting and the University of Colorado in Boulder, thirty miles north of Denver.

Making The Industry Mainstream

The sportsbook PointsBet signed a partnership deal with the University of Colorado earlier this year. The school has four campuses in the state with the main site being in Boulder, and three others in Aurora, Colorado Springs and Denver. The sports betting app will be available on each of the four campuses.

Nicholas Epstein, the CEO of Monarch Casino in the mountain town of Blackhawk, met with reporters on Tuesday to give an overview of the changes that will take place post-COVID.

Epstein said, “Boy this has been such an exciting time for us here at Monarch Casino and Spa. Although at first we were all very pensive, with the lockdowns, we weren’t sure how we would manage, our main priority was keeping as many staff members as possible on the payroll.

“Since the historic Supreme Court ruling in 2018, that allows states to do what they want with sports betting, it’s been a race to capture a slice of the market’

Epstein said during the shutdown NASCAR, golf, and some horse racing, kept the sports betting app running and profitable.

“With sports now back on line, we are pulling out all the stops, and building a new multi million dollar sports entertainment facility that will house all of the sports betting cages and kiosks. It’s not just casinos that are elated, the whole state is in a celebratory mode as sports betting makes an enormous comeback.”