DENVER (KDVR) — Sports betting has been legal in Colorado for less than a week, but it’s already producing some interesting results.
With most major leagues shut down, bettors have had to get creative to test the market. The early winner? European table tennis.
“It’s unprecedented, the situation we’re in right now,” says John Sheeran.
Sheeran is the Director for Trading for the FanDuel Sportsbook, one of more than a dozen platforms now operating online sports betting in Colorado.
With casinos currently closed, online betting has been the only option for the state’s newest industry.
“I don’t think anyone would have believed they were going to be betting and watching Ukrainian table tennis if you had told them that two months ago,” says Sheeran.
The May 1 launch was supposed to include the NHL and NBA playoffs, and the start of the MLB season.
Instead, table tennis, Nicaraguan soccer and European darts are dominating the spread.
“All the sports we’re accustomed to,” jokes Johnny Avello. “All the things we watch on a daily basis.”
Avello is the Director of Race and Sports Operations for DraftKingz, where the futures bets are rolling in.
“It’s hard to make big bets on ping pong and Korean baseball, something you’re not familiar with, but I’m expecting some big bets once we get into the core sports,” he said.
FanDuel says the biggest win so far was for $1,400 on a Belarusian soccer match.
The biggest bet so far: $882 on the Cowboys to win the Super Bowl.
But Sheeran says they’ve also taken more than 2,000 Colorado bets on NFL games, still scheduled to begin in September.
“There’s a huge demand for the NFL everywhere, but particularly in Colorado,” he says.
Both sportsbooks are offering incentives, including free bets, to try to get Colorado customers comfortable with the software before the core sports return.