ZenSports to Join Colorado Market in Deal with New Casino
When Steve Boulter’s next Central City casino opens in Colorado this year it will be accompanied by online sports betting from ZenSports.
Boulter Developments LLC signed a 15-year deal with ZenSports for the U.S. company that operates globally to be the casino’s exclusive partner in Colorado, according to a news release.
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The new casino will be Boulter’s second operation in Central City after Dostal Alley Brewpub and Casino, which opened in October 1991. Dostal Alley was approved for sports betting in February 2020 and partnered with Betsson four months later on a 10-year agreement that marked the Swedish company’s first step into the U.S. market.
"We're excited to open up a new casino location in Central City later in 2021, and we are thrilled to be partnering with ZenSports on the sports betting side," Boulter said in a news release.
Boulter added that ZenSports co-founder and CEO Mark Thomas, along with his staff, “have built the future of sports betting via the ZenSports mobile app, have shown a scrappy mentality for growing its business over the last two years, and are making real inroads here in the U.S. market.”
ZenSports’ venture into Colorado follows its initial U.S. endeavor last August with two casinos in Nevada through a deal with Strategic Gaming Management. The company applied for licenses in Tennessee and Virginia in November.
It will be entering a Colorado sports betting market that has seen nearly $1.2 billion in total handle since launching May 1. It set a state record in December with $284.6 million in handle, pushing the total in seven months to $1,185,754,617.
More on ZenSports
Operating as a traditional online sportsbook, ZenSports “also offers a peer-to-peer sports betting marketplace,” according to its website. The peer “exchange” allows people in legal markets worldwide to create and accept bets that eliminate reliance on bookmakers’ odds and terms.
Betting exchanges are popular abroad but illegal across the U.S. under the Federal Wire Act of 1961, which, in short, says people can’t transmit bets across state lines. The user pool and money generation then are limited with “exchanges” restricted to in-state participants.
In late August 2020, however, regulated sports betting exchanges in the U.S. progressed when Twin River Worldwide Holdings, now Bally’s Corp., agreed to a licensing partnership with Sporttrade and plans to launch its peer-to-peer marketplace in New Jersey.
Nevada Licensing First
As for Central City and ZenSports, when a master license is approved for the new casino, ZenSports will then apply through the Colorado Division of Gaming for its sports betting operator and internet sports betting license, according to the release.
"We're on track to get our Nevada non-restricted gaming license in the next six months, and we're now looking forward to beginning the process to get licensed in Colorado,” Thomas said in the release. “We couldn't have a better partner than Steve Boulter, who has been a pillar in the Colorado casino gaming community for 30 years."
Boulter was a key player in the state’s gambling legalization in the late 1980s and opened Black Hawk’s first casino in October 1991. The Colorado Division of Gaming has licensed Boulter for three decades.
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