The Week In Sports Betting News: Colorado Pushes Toward May 1 Open

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Welcome to the 23rd Monday we’ve spent in self-isolation, everyone. Check that – apparently, it hasn’t even been a month?

Even with very limited sports, sports betting news continues to trickle out. We’ll remain on top of everything sports betting throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Remember to follow us on Twitter @LSPReport for breaking news as it happens. And the team is still weighing in on the current state of sports and sports wagering on the LSR Podcast.

With that, get your masks (and, be honest, morning beers) ready, and let’s jump into a recap of last week’s news.

Top sports betting news: Colorado still set for May 1

Colorado sports betting regulators still intend to allow operators to go live May 1, though that could change with one meeting remaining this month.

Dan Hartman, director of the state’s Division of Gaming, said discussions about the May 1 date would certainly happen during a meeting in March. Keeping the date doesn’t necessarily mean any operators will launch that day, of course. Colorado will not have a state-run platform like DC.

The Limited Gaming Control Commission approved 32 additional sports betting licenses at its meeting last week. Included were licenses for Circa Sports, GeoComply, Penn Sports Interactive, Roar Digital, Rush Street Interactive and William Hill.

All 33 commercial casinos in the state applied for their master licenses at this point. The number of licenses, along with an operator-friendly 10% tax rate, could lead Colorado to reveal a lot about the country’s potential as a sports betting market.

DC sports betting delays launch

Washington DC’s Office of Lottery and Gaming reversed course and decided to delay the launch of its sports betting platform until major sports return.

Earlier in March, plans to launch the Intralot-powered platform at the end of the month remained on course. That changed as the realities of delays from the coronavirus pandemic became clearer.

The platform, GambetDC, could have launched April 1 as all testing is finished.

The District’s regulations allow for other sports betting apps, though they won’t be accessible throughout most of DC, like GambetDC. William Hill, which is teaming up to operate a sportsbook for Capital One Arena, should be licensed by early May at the latest.

Betgenius defends alleged ghost games

Betting on “ghost games,” or games that didn’t happen but were reported as if they were, is the exact kind of sports betting news we should have expected during the global sports shutdown.

It remains unclear whether data supplier Betgenius provided data from games that didn’t actually happen or if those games were played in a fraudulent manner.

Multiple news outlets report the Ukrainian Football Association said four matches in the Azov Cup never took place.

Betgenius provided data for three of the matches before it and sportsbook partners flagged the matches for suspicious betting patterns.

Betgenius told LSR the matches did happen, but a criminal group likely conducted them.

Quarantine could hurt CA sports betting initiative

Gathering signatures for a tribal-backed California sports betting initiative has been suspended because of lockdowns from the coronavirus pandemic.

The deadline to submit signatures is April 21. The initiative currently doesn’t have enough, as it needed 997,139. While total signatures collected are just short of 1 million, the tribes wanted to collect 1.5 million to ensure enough would be verified.

The initiative would put sports betting in tribal casinos and racetracks had voters approved a referendum in November.

Elsewhere, multiple organizations, including cardrooms, launched a No on the Gambling Power Grab campaign with $7 million in funding.

No mobile for NY, again

In a move that should surprise no one, New York’s state budget was finalized without including revenue from mobile NY sports betting.

That means New York will go another year missing out on tax dollars and sending sports betting handle to New Jersey. That handle was estimated at $837 million for 2019.

Individual chamber budgets were scrapped because of the coronavirus pandemic. That left mobile sports betting’s proponents, Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, without a chance to plead their cases via their chambers.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo cites constitutionality concerns and limited revenue as a reason to not move forward with mobile betting.

Weather betting has a grim forecast

Offshore sportsbooks are about to learn that offering bets on the weather isn’t as easy as guessing whether it’ll rain tomorrow.

Financial regulators actually limit the ability to bet on weather events. The Commodities and Futures Trading Commission defines a weather derivative as a “based on a specified weather event, for example, the average temperature in Chicago in January.”

Weather derivatives give businesses and traders the change to hedge risk against the negative impact of a weather-related event. Weather directly affects 30% of the US economy, according to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.