Opinion

OPINION: Why Colorado will remain in the Top 5 of the Wedge Index even without Online Casino

Colorado has not yet legalized Online Casino gambling but the Centennial State remains near the top of the Wedge Index and is unlikely to be surpassed due to the sports betting options available to residents.

The strength of legal sports betting to a state’s score in the Wedge Index cannot be over-stated, and for this we simply have to look at the position of Colorado near the top of the rankings.

Unlike West Virginia and Pennsylvania, the Centennial State does not allow Online Casino gambling but, despite this, it sits above both in the Wedge Index. Why is this?

The reason is simple. Colorado have integrated legal sports betting in the perfect manner and they are allowing rapid growth in the sector, due to a low cost of entry, a lack of red tape and some fair and sensible legislators.

An example of this in practice is the new legal sportsbook Sportsbetting.com launching in Colorado this week. The company, which is owned by Carousel, has arguably the most powerful domain in the sports betting industry and they have chosen Colorado as their US entry point.

This is because Colorado does not have the $10 million entry charge which is present in Pennsylvania and it is also a very fertile ground for sports betting apps, lacking the kind of land based casino presence of Atlantic City or Las Vegas, which would traditionally compete with a sportsbook app.

Instead, the casinos in Colorado are spread out across the state and are perhaps not as easily accessible for residents or tourists. This means that apps will be king in Colorado and sports betting will take place mostly in the home, or in bars and restaurants.

This is perfect for citizens. Placing bets becomes easy and a part of everyday life, while gamblers looking for a night out can venture further afield to party in the confines of the casino.

West Virginia may have introduced online casino wagering but the stop-start nature of their regulations, and the multitude of different licenses involved for advertisers, means that the roll out has not been seamless. Colorado, meanwhile, is powering ahead and climbing the Wedge Index.

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Scott Longley

Scott Longley has been a journalist since the early noughties covering personal finance, sport and the gambling industry. He has worked for a number of publications including Investor's Week, Bloomberg Money, Football First, EGR and GamblingCompliance.com. He now writes for online and print titles across a wide range of sectors.

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