The Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission has approved regulations this week paving the way for the state’s casinos to introduce legal sports betting and licenses, with a go-live date of May 1. 

Sportsbook operators – as yet unnamed – can now complete the license application process to open up retail sportsbooks at seven of the state’s 33 casinos, all of which have submitted applications. There will also be provision for three online sportsbooks per casino. 

The seven to pass the first stage of the approval process comprise Monarch and Saratoga casinos in Black Hawk; the Brass Ass, Double Eagle, McGills and Midnight Rose casinos in Cripple Creek; and the Dostal Alley Casino in Central City. 

According to the legislation, wagering may take place on professional, college, Olympic sports, motor sports and electronic sports. Bets on high school or individual college players are not permitted. 

The tax rate on Colorado sports betting has been set at 10% of net proceeds and there will be an additional cost to operators to cover increased administrative and personnel costs of regulating the sector. This will be known as a Sports Betting Operations Fee.

The annual levy is not a tax said the Commission, but a fee designed to defray the cost to the Commission and Division of providing the regulatory support services to sports betting licensees. The Commission will set the Sports Betting Operations Fee before June 1 of each fiscal year and review the amount of the fees annually.