Colorado Mum On Identity of British Gaming Company Potential Investment in $40M Office Complex – Opinion
The Colorado Economic Development Commission (CEDC) has granted $14 million in potential tax credits to an as yet unnamed British betting company that wants to set up offices in the state.
Registered under the codename Project Forge, the company is considering investing $40 million in 120,000 square feet of office space in Colorado’s capital city, Denver. However, details on exactly who is involved are not being revealed, with “confidentiality” cited.
The plans could create upwards of 800 new jobs in the state. This would include all the positions expected from a company headquarters, including senior leadership roles, managers, fraud and risk assessment, traders, plus software and data engineers.
Annual wages for these positions would amount to $97,238 – 8% higher than the annual average wage in the Denver Metropolitan area.
“The company behind Project Forge is a global leader in the online sports betting and gaming sector, known for its excellence in technology innovation that has shaped the industry over the last twenty years,” a release stated. “Due to the nature of the company, further identification would jeopardize the company’s confidentiality.”
However, there were more clues last week as to the secret identity of the potential investor in a Denver Post report.
First, it’s a British company. One that has a US base already in New Jersey. Second, the report featured a quote from a company executive.
“We are excited about the opportunity to work in Denver and Colorado. It seems to be a great fit for us,” he said, giving his name only as Richard.
This is by no means a guarantee, so bear with us. However little bit of detective works reveals one name that might fit the bill on this mystery investor – British-based gambling conglomerate Flutter.
As we reported earlier this month, the London Stock Exchange-listed company is potentially about to appoint US-based John Bryant as its new chairman.
It is also about to hold a shareholder vote on moving to the New York Stock Exchange. So, setting up a new headquarters in the US is a likely follow-up move if that does happen. Plus, Flutter currently has offices in New Jersey.
Circumstantial evidence so far, of course. But if you consider the CEDC’s description, things do line up even more.
Flutter is one of world’s biggest gambling operators, which fits with the description as a “global leader”.
Flutter also got its start through “technology innovation” after merging with British company Betfair in 2001. Betfair pioneered the betting exchange model in which bettors offer and settle wagers with each other on a market platform. That merger happened some two decades ago, which also fits with the CEDC description.
Lastly – and could this be the real kicker – there is an executive called Richard Flint who sits on Flutter’s Board.
Whether our educated guess is correct or not, there’s no guarantees that the Project Forge development will be in Denver or wider Colorado.
The investing company is also looking at Tucson, Arizona, and Nashville, Tennessee, as potential sites for their new headquarters. The full $14 million in tax credits from Colorado hinges on at least 20 jobs being created before any issuance, followed by the maintenance of all 800 jobs for one full year.
With millions of tax dollars and local jobs on the line, states will be no doubt competing to have this “global leading” business, whichever British gambling operator it turns out to be. But if we were putting money down, our bet would be on Flutter.