Betsson Launches US Expansion With Colorado Sportsbook Deal

  • Betsson plans to launch Colorado sportsbook in 2021
  • Agreement is part of Betsson's strategy for expansion into new regulated markets
  • Betsson's revenue declined last year as a result of a challenging Swedish market
  • Colorado market has received significant operator attention since May 1 launch
Denver city skyline at dusk
Betsson plans to enter the US online sports betting market in 2021 after signing a sportsbook deal in Colorado. [Image:]

A first cautious step

Betsson has made its first entry into the US online sports betting market after signing an agreement with Dostal Alley Casino in the state of Colorado. Through the agreement, the Swedish operator aims to launch its sportsbook in the Centennial State in the first part of 2021. The initial term of the sports betting partnership is ten years.

In a statement on its website, Betsson said the “cautious step” into the US is part of its strategy of expanding into new regulated markets and growing in a financially safe manner.

further expanding Betsson’s global reach”

Pontus Lindwall, CEO and president of Betsson AB, commented: “I am very excited to reach this milestone, further expanding Betsson’s global reach by entering a new continent through the fast-growing online market in the US.”

Betsson’s struggles in Europe

Last year, Betsson’s full-year revenue saw a decrease of 5% year-on-year, generating a total of SEK 5.16bn ($554.7m). Operating income was also down by 38%, totaling SEK 865m ($94m), while net income fell by 27% to SEK 787.1m ($84m).

The operator mainly attributed its revenue decline to a challenging environment in Sweden following the market’s re-regulation in January 2019. In Betsson’s Q4 2019 trading update, Lindwall outlined several issues with the market, including declining channelization rates.

Channelization rates in Sweden have not been hitting targets set out by the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) at the beginning of the market’s re-regulation. According to a report written by independent consultancy firm Copenhagen Economics on behalf of  Branschföreningen för Onlinespel in April this year, channelization rates for online casino in Sweden are 72-78%, while rates for sports betting stand at 80-85%.

Colorado sports betting

Colorado became the 18th state to legalize sports betting in the US on May 1 this year, after more than 1.3 million citizens participated in the vote. The new regulation, which was passed by around 20,000 votes, allows customers to register and bet online while within state borders.

operators are subject to a gambling duty of 10%

Sports betting operators are subject to a gambling duty of 10% on gross gaming revenue and must partner with one of the state’s 35 land-based casinos in order to launch their sportsbooks. According to figures published by H2 Gambling Capital, the Centennial State’s online sports betting market is expected to generate approximately $200m at saturation.

FanDuel, DraftKings, BetRivers, and ROAR Digital all launched their Colorado sportsbooks on May 1, despite most mainstream sports being shut down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this month, Betfred US launched its second US sportsbook at Saratoga Casino in Black Hawk, Colorado. The operator also signed a deal with the NFL’s Denver Broncos, which will see the subsidiary of UK-based Betfred Group establish a betting lounge outside of Empower Field at Mile High.