illiam Hill sportsbook on Tuesday launched its mobile app in Colorado.
The UK bookmaker, which handles one in four sports bets placed in the United States, launched in-person kiosks in July at two Black Hawk casinos, but the new app opens up wagering to anyone in Colorado with a smartphone. With sports betting marking record-highs in August, and football kicking off Thursday, the launch comes with all four major professional sports going on at the same time.
Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill U.S., told The Denver Post that the coronavirus pandemic has left sports fans stir-crazy and itching to gamble. In Nevada last month, William Hill’s mobile traffic was up over 130%, and in-person wagering up 50% from last year — despite the fact that the state’s tourism-dependent economy was battered by COVID-19, Asher said.
“There’s less to do right now, and one thing people are doing is watching sports on TV and betting on it,” he said. And with the NFL’s return, he said, “this month is gonna just blow away any prior records.”
Colorado’s entry into legalized sports betting coincided with sports shutting down in March, but during the first month of legalized betting, Coloradans wagered more than $25.6 million on everything from ping pong to MMA fights. And in June that number jumped to $38.1 million — before the MLB, NHL and NBA had even returned.
The Denver Broncos this week inked partnership deals with three sportsbooks, including the NFL’s first in-stadium betting lounge. And the University of Colorado Boulder on Tuesday announced a five-year partnership with an online sportsbook, believed to be the first of its kind for a major Division I athletics program.