Ameristar Casino in Black Hawk is the biggest casino in all of Colorado, so its lack of a big-brand on-site sportsbook has been conspicuous. At least until today’s announcement on Twitter that Barstool Sportsbook would be opening for business at Ameristar Black Hawk on Nov. 5.
Neither the launch nor the timing was really much of a surprise. Ameristar is owned by Penn National, which acquired Barstool in January 2020. Ameristar also soft-launched some self-branded sports betting kiosks and windows of its own in July, the only thing missing was the official Barstool Sportsbook branding. Back on Oct. 7, Ameristar teased that the Barstool Sportsbook would be opening “soon,” but there was no additional information at the time as to when.
Perhaps the biggest hint of all was the soft-launch of Barstool Sportsbook in Pennsylvania last month. A Penn Gaming spokesperson told us at the time that the timing for the launch in PA was due to it having legal online casinos, which Colorado currently does not. The spokesperson said Colorado would be “a priority” as the app continued to roll out nationwide.
Barstool And Ameristar Will Be Fierce New Competitors in CO Sports Betting
Ameristar is the largest and busiest casino in the state, so the foot traffic alone will give Barstool Sportsbook’s retail location an advantage over some of its nearby competitors in Black Hawk. The mountain gambling town has nine retail sportsbooks so far, including other well-known players like DraftKings Sportsbook and William Hill.
One big unanswered question remains, when CO sports bettors can expect the Barstool Sportsbook app to launch. A representative from Barstool parent Penn National Gaming reached by email Monday said the Barstool Sportsbook app is still not scheduled to launch in Colorado until the first quarter of 2021.
Sports betting became legal in Colorado on May 1, 2020. Casinos were closed in Colorado due to the pandemic from mid-March to mid-June, so the land-casino retail sports betting market got off to a slower start than those involved may have liked. That unavoidable stumble out of the gate might have contributed to the overwhelming dominance of online sports betting in the state, with 98% of all bets placed in September happening online.