PointsBet, a Denver-based sportsbook operator, launched its mobile app and digital sports betting product Wednesday in Colorado, its fifth state of operation.
Johnny Aitken, PointsBet USA CEO, said the company is proud to be the only sports betting operation with its permanent U.S. headquarters in Colorado.
“Our approach for the market is that we really want to bring the sports betting experience that Coloradans have been seeking,” Aitken said. “When you open the app, it’s not going to have promotional language about the New York Yankees. You’re not going to have an ambassador that’s based in Chicago.”
“It’s a custom-made app built for the Colorado market,” he added.
The company will also soon have a retail presence at the Double Eagle Hotel and Casino in Cripple Creek.
PointsBet was founded in Australia, where Aitken grew up. He said the company had “an eye on the U.S. sports betting market.” The company made the move when the legalization of online sports betting picked up momentum, opening its first U.S. operation in New Jersey in January 2019.
PointsBet also operates in Iowa, Indiana and Illinois. Its home base is in Lower Downtown Denver, where the majority of the company’s 150 employees in the country work. Aitken said there are places for about 200 employees in the LoDo office, and he plans to fill the spots in the next six to 12 months.
Legal sports betting kicked off in Colorado May 1 after the passage in 2019 of a ballot measure that expanded gambling by legalizing betting on professional sports. The state’s 17 casino operators can apply for licenses for physical or online sportsbooks.
Fans wagered more than $207 million on all sports in September, up 61% from August, the Colorado Division of Gaming said. The numbers for October haven’t been compiled yet.
“I see this market as a very forward and progressive market,” Aitken said. “It’s a really competitive and open market.”
Aitken said it has been a challenge to roll out operations during a pandemic, with sports teams suspending play for a while and continuing to wrestle with COVID-caused disruptions. But it gave the company time to continue hiring.
“We’re really excited to be based here. We wanted to truly invest in the community, not only providing tangible employment opportunities but also to partner with local sport organizations,” Aitken said.
The company has teamed up with Kroenke Sports and Entertainment, the owner of the Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Avalanche and the Colorado Mammoth pro lacrosse team. As part of the multiyear deal, PointsBet will have a major presence on the teams’ digital platforms, Altitude broadcasts and in the Ball Arena, formerly the Pepsi Center, where the teams play.
Aitken declined to disclose the agreement’s financial terms. Kroenke also owns the Colorado Rapids.
In September, PointsBet announced a five-year corporate partnership with the University of Colorado Buffaloes. It is also the exclusive betting partner of NBC Sports.
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