Bet365 launches in Colorado

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Bet365 launched its online sportsbook in Colorado Thursday, bringing one of the biggest global names in gaming to a second US market.

One of the most prominent European gaming operators, bet365 has expanded slowly in the US, launching only in New Jersey before going live in Colorado Thursday. The company has also applied to run online sportsbooks in Virginia as well as Ohio and Massachusetts, neither of which has launched online sports betting.

Though it has a strong reputation in Europe, bet365 is still not a household name in the US. It has not marketed nearly as heavily in the states as its major American-centric competitors such as FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM and Caesars, each of which has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in marketing, free bets and other promotions.

Thursday’s Colorado launch, as well as the potential for market access in high-population, sports-crazy states such as Ohio and Massachusetts, could begin a new US push. Though it may not ever catch the market share of the major US operators, bet365 has the financial strength and tech capabilities to potentially shake up the American sports betting status quo.

Bet365 is lauded by industry stakeholders and customers alike for its cutting-edge interface and wide array of betting options. The privately held company is also believed to be tremendously profitable as CEO and co-founder Denise Coats is one of the world’s most highly-compensated corporate executives.

In Colorado, bet365 joined roughly two-dozen other operators in the nation’s most crowded legal online sports betting marketplace. The company is launching several years after most of these competitors, many of which already have better brand recognition.

This football season, the most lucrative time of the year for US sportsbooks, could be a key test of bet365’s American staying power. If it can jump ahead of many of these Colorado operators, nearly all of which have less financial and technical resources, it could bode well for future growth in new markets.

Bet365 is expected to earn an Ohio online sports betting license and could start, for the first time in any US jurisdiction, on the same day as  its competitors. The company has advertised extensively at home games for MLB’s Cleveland Guardians, including prominent displays behind home plate.

In Massachusetts, bet365 is one of more than 20 sportsbooks that have expressed interest in what will ostensibly be 12 available sports betting licenses. One of the nation’s most affluent states, Massachusetts is a major US launch target and could be one of America’s highest-grossing per capita markets.

Virginia regulators have also approved bet365’s online sportsbook but it has not publicly announced a launch timeline. There are already more than a dozen mobile operators live in the state.

Because of its prominence and finances, bet365 has been rumored to potentially acquire a better-known US brand before making a concerted expansion effort in the states. Flutter Entertainment, another European gaming giant, acquired FanDuel in 2018 and it has since become America’s leader in gross gaming revenue market share.

Other US operators such as 888 (SI Sportsbook), Carousel Group (MaximBet) and Penn Entertainment (Barstool Sportsbook) have partnered with or purchased media companies to brand their respective sportsbooks.

About the author

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Ryan Butler

Ryan is a veteran sports betting and iGaming regulation and breaking news journalist based in the US. A two-time Associated Press Sports Editors award winner, he has reported on sports and politics since 2012. He has covered the gaming industry since 2018. Ryan graduated from the University of Florida with a major in Journalism and a minor in Sport Management.

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