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Rev. Al Sharpton Calls for Mobile Betting to be Blocked

by Danny Maiorca

Civil rights activist Al Sharpton sends a plea to the state

In a letter to Governor Jared Polis and Speaker of the House Kathleen Becker, Reverend Sharpton argued that “online gaming in Colorado will inevitably attract unsavory characters who profit off a job loss”. He also said that the state “needs to pay full attention to who is profiting off this new law”, otherwise “jobs will be lost”.

Sharpton was especially concerned about Soohung Kim, who owns three casinos in the state. Kim is the founder of the hedge fund Standard General, which is Twin River Casinos’ largest shareholder.

He referred to redundancies made at American Apparel and Radioshack, also owned by Standard General, as proof that the state’s best interests would not be a priority in a regulated online sports betting market.

Sharpton said: “As this track record shows, if Mr Kim, who already over-extended Twin River in his pursuit of potential mobile betting licenses, fails to make a profit, you can be sure that it will be the workers of the Colorado casinos that suffer.”

Colorado’s sports betting market is getting ready to launch

The Centennial State chose to legalize sports betting in November 2019, following a referendum.

51.1% of participants voted to regulate the vertical, even though most of the state’s 64 counties voted against the legislation’s passing.

For all state matters where tax is involved, the Coloradan public has the final say.

Three license types are available to operators. These are as follows:

  • A master license;
  • A sports betting operator license;
  • An internet sports betting operator license.

Colorado’s 33 land-based casinos are all required to get a master license before they can provide this newly-legalized offering. Once they have this, they have the power to contact anybody who has either a sports betting operator license or internet sports betting operator license.

Multiple operators have already obtained Coloradan licenses

The state’s Gaming Commission has already begun the sports betting licensing process. DraftKings signed a deal with Twin River Worldwide in January, which will permit both a retail and digital presence. However, the operator had to wait two months before obtaining these licenses.

Twin River has also agreed a partnership with another major US sportsbook – FanDuel.

Score Media and Gaming will also be able to offer mobile sports wagering once the market goes live. The operator, which is an entity of the Score, penned a deal in January with Jacobs Entertainment Inc. (JEI) so that this could happen.

Including both of DraftKings’ permits, the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission has issued eight sports betting licenses this month.

Operators with a Colorado sports betting license will have to pay 10% of their gross gaming revenue (GGR) in tax each year.

The majority of tax revenue will be put towards the state’s water management plan. After this, whatever is leftover will be shared between the Division of Gaming, initiatives to combat gambling addiction and local governments.

While the bill doesn’t provide a fixed fee for permits, it does state that no license or renewal fee should be above $125,000.

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