This is an exciting time for online wagering in Colorado. Regulated sports betting officially began May 1, 2020, with four online operators launching digital platforms. And with several more digital operators set to join the marketplace, Colorado sports bettors can place wagers online, through their mobile betting apps, and in sportsbooks at land-based casinos after the state allows them to safely reopen.
Colorado became the fourth state in 2020 to offer legalized sports betting after voters approved Proposition DD in November 2019. The law is limited to sports betting and does not allow for online casino gambling or online poker.
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Online sports betting, daily fantasy sports and pari-mutuel wagering are all legal in Colorado.
State lawmakers approved daily fantasy sports in 2016, and passed a sports betting bill in 2019 that state voters approved in a November referendum. The bill allows both retail and online sports wagering in Colorado.
All of the state’s casinos in Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek, as well as tribal operators, can apply for a sports betting license. Each can choose an online partner, opening the door for popular operators such as FanDuel and Draftkings to enter the market.
Colorado law does not allow online casino gambling. State bettors can play online casino games for amusement or prizes at a growing number of social casinos, the top-rated of which are listed above. Playing for real money at offshore-based online casinos is not recommended and should be avoided, as those sites operate without any regulation or oversight, putting your money at risk.
Colorado has a lottery but does not allow online lottery sales.
Sports betting launched on May 1, 2020, with four digital platforms up and running and two others already approved and set to launch. Colorado House Majority Leader Alec Garnett placed the first ceremonial legal bet in the state, $10 through the DraftKings mobile app on the Denver Broncos (+4000) to win the Super Bowl.
At this time, there is no timetable for any Colorado online casino gambling or online poker legislation.
Colorado is home to more than 30 land-based casinos. All are located in Black Hawk, Central City or Cripple Creek, along with two tribal-operated casinos in southwest Colorado.
|Casino||City||Address||Hours of Operation|
|Ameristar Black Hawk Casino||Black Hawk||111 Richman Street||Open 24 hours|
|Brass Ass Casino||Cripple Creek||264 E. Bennett Ave.||Open 24 hours|
|Bronco Billy’s Casino||Cripple Creek||233 E. Bennett Ave.||Open 24 hours|
|Bull Durham Saloon and Casino||Black Hawk||110 Main Street||Sunday-Thursday 8 a.m.-2 a.m.; Friday-Saturday 8 a.m.-4 a.m.|
|Century Casino & Hotel Central City||Central City||102 Main Street||Open 24 hours|
|Century Casino & Hotel Cripple Creek||Cripple Creek||200 E. Bennett Ave.||Hours of operation: Open 24 hours|
|Christmas Casino and Inn||Cripple Creek||279 E. Bennett Ave.||Open 24 hours|
|Colorado Grande Casino||Cripple Creek||300 E. Bennett Av.||Open 24 hours|
|Dostal Alley Brewpub & Casino||Central City||116 Main Street||10 a.m.-2 a.m.|
|Double Eagle Hotel & Casino||Cripple Creek||442 E Bennett Ave.||Open 24 hours|
|Easy Street Casino||Central City||120 Main Street||8 a.m.-2 a.m.|
|Famous Bonanza Casino||Central City||107 Main Street||Sunday-Thursday 8 a.m.-2 a.m.; Friday-Saturday 8 a.m.-3 a.m.|
|The Gilpin Casino||Black Hawk||111 Main Street||Open 24 hours|
|Golden Gates Casino||Black Hawk||261 Main Street||Open 24 hours|
|Golden Gulch Casino||Black Hawk||321 Main Street||Sunday-Thursday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-2 a.m.|
|Golden Mardi Gras Casino||Black Hawk||300 Main Street||Tuesday 8 a.m.-1 a.m.; Wednesday 8 a.m.-midnight; Thursday-Monday open 24 hours|
|rand Z Casino Hotel||Central City||321 Gregory Street||Open 24 hours|
|Isle of Capri Casino & Hotel||Black Hawk||401 Main Street||Open 24 hours|
|Johnny Nolon’s Casino||Cripple Creek||301 E. Bennett Ave.||Open 24 hours|
|Johnny Z’s Casino||Central City||123 Lawrence Street||Monday-Wednesday 8 a.m.-3 a.m.; Thursday 8 a.m.-midnight; Friday-Sunday open 24 hours|
|Lady Luck Casino||Black Hawk||340 Main Street||Open 24 hours|
|The Lodge Casino||Black Hawk||240 Main Street||Open 24 hours|
|McGills Hotel & Casino||Cripple Creek||232 Bennett Ave.||Open 24 hours|
|Midnight Rose Hotel & Casino||Cripple Creek||256 E. Bennett Ave.||Open 24 hours|
|Monarch Casino Black Hawk||Black Hawk||448 Main Street||Open 24 hours|
|Red Dolly Casino||Black Hawk||530 Gregory Street||8 a.m.-2 a.m.|
|Saratoga Casino||Black Hawk||110 Main Street||Sunday-Thursday 9 a.m.-3 a.m.; Friday-Saturday open 24 hours|
|Sasquatch Casino||Black Hawk||125 Gregory Street||8 a.m.-2 a.m.|
|Sky Ute Casino Resort||Ignacio||14324 Highway 172 North||Monday-Thursday 10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 9:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Sunday 9:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.|
|Ute Mountain Casino Hotel||Towaoc||3 Weeminuche Drive||Open 24 hours|
|Wild Card Saloon||Black Hawk||120 Main Street||8 a.m.-midnight|
|Wildwood Casino||Cripple Creek||119 Carbonate Street||Open 24 hours|
|Z Casino||Black Hawk||101 Gregory Street||Sunday-Thursday 8 a.m.-3 p.m.; Friday-Saturday open 24 hours|
If and when Colorado approves online casino gambling, the most likely candidates to offer online services are:
Ameristar Black Hawk Casino: The state’s largest casino, offering more than 1,250 slot machines, 40 table games and 22 poker tables, is managed by Penn National Gaming, an experienced online gaming operator.
Isle of Capri, Lady Luck: Both are owned by gambling giant Eldorado Resorts, which is merging with Caesars Entertainment. Caesars has successful online operations in other states.
Bronco Billy’s Casino: Ownership group Full House Resorts has already signed multiple online sports wagering deals.
For now, Colorado online casino players can play at an increasing number of social casinos, which offer free online casino games and prizes through their websites or Facebook apps.
When online casino gambling comes to Colorado, expect operators to make mobile apps an integral part of the business, just as they have done in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Colorado’s online sports betting operations, Colorado sportsbooks.
Mobile apps give online casino players the opportunity to play from anywhere in the state at any time. The apps are typically available in both Android and iOS and can be downloaded for free from the online operator’s website or the App Store.
Colorado online casinos would include many of the same games as the state’s land-based casinos, such as:
Online Roulette: A popular game with simple rules that is easy to learn. Instead of the roulette wheel used at physical casinos, the online game utilizes an electronic random generator.
Online Poker: Six Colorado casinos already have live poker, with Ameristar (22 tables) and Golden Gates (18 tables) offering the most action. Online poker sites are available in four states: Delaware, New Jersey, Nevada and Pennsylvania, all offering a variety of cash games and tournament play.
Online Slots: Slots are the most popular game at any U.S. casino. The top slot machine manufacturers are also active online, meaning bettors can expect to see many of their favorite traditional slot games, along with several new games offering progressive jackpots.
Online Blackjack: The most popular table game offers several advantages online, including a wider variety of stakes (consistently lower minimums than at a physical casino) and more blackjack variations, such as Blackjack Switch and Spanish 21.
Live Dealer: These are table games such as blackjack or roulette in which an actual person deals the game from a studio, which is streamed to your computer or mobile device, with players making their bets from an online interface. Live dealer games add a social element, allowing players to interact with the dealer and other players at the table.
Colorado bettors can expect these payment options to be available whenever online casino gambling is permitted:
E-wallets: The most popular options are PayPal and Neteller, which can transfer funds to your online casino account at your request. PayPal and Neteller accounts can be set up with a credit card or checking account and be used for both deposits and withdrawals.
ACH/bank transfer: Both establish an electronic connection between your bank account and online gambling account. Can be used for deposits and withdrawals. Transactions may take several days to process.
Play+: A prepaid card usually branded to your online gambling operator. You can apply from the operator’s website and deposit funds with a credit or debit card. Can also be used for withdrawals and at multiple casinos.
PayNearMe: A deposit-only option with no credit card or bank account, just cash. Receive a barcode and take your money to a Colorado 7-Eleven, Family Dollar or CVS Pharmacy, which will scan the barcode and transfer the money into your online gambling account.
Credit/debit cards: The most convenient and popular option to fund an online gambling account, though some financial institutions are still blocking the transactions despite them being completely legal. When it works, funds are deposited in minutes. Fees vary. Withdrawals are typically not allowed, so players may have to consider an alternative withdrawal method.
Check or money order: Both methods still work. Though not the timeliest withdrawal option, your online operator will usually mail you a check if you request one.
In all states with legalized online casino gambling, operators offer a variety of bonus offers to attract new customers. Among the bonuses Colorado bettors will likely be able to claim if and when online casinos launch:
No deposit bonus: Simply sign up for an account and the bonus money is yours. The bonus is usually in the $20-$30 range and the operator may require that you gamble that bonus money at least once (or more) before it can be redeemed.
Deposit match: Make your first deposit and your online casino gambling operator will match that amount up to 100 percent. These bonuses require a more significant amount of play with the bonus money before it can be unlocked and is usually released in increments. As with any bonus, make sure to read the terms and conditions carefully.
Reload bonuses: Offered to existing or inactive players to help reload their accounts.
Loyalty programs: Rewards existing players, generally allowing them to accumulate points that can be converted into cash or prizes, depending on their level of play.
Native American casinos, commercial casinos, pari-mutuel horse racing, a state-sanctioned lottery and potentially sports betting are all legal in Colorado. It’s just not always easy to access these options.
Arapahoe Park Horse Track in the Denver suburb of Aurora is the most convenient gaming establishment for the bulk of the state’s population, however the track can essentially only take bets on the horse races themselves. That’s in large part due to the state’s other high-profile gaming options.
A cluster of casinos in three historic mountain towns have vehemently opposed any gambling expansions outside their towns’ boundaries. The towns hope to continue attracting visitors from the densely populated Denver metropolitan area. Online casino and poker options would likely have a welcoming demographic among Colorado players, but the existing gaming purveyors will fight to protect their interests.
These structural impediments to future internet gambling expansions will likely remain in place for the foreseeable future, though the sports betting referendum and subsequent first legal sports bet on May 1, 2020 was a good first step. However, it remains an uphill climb for any substantial progress beyond sports gambling.
The state’s first legal sports wager is placed May 1 on the DraftKings mobile app.
The Colorado Gambling Control Commission grants sports betting licenses (online and retail) to more than 20 licensees.
Former Cripple Creek Mayor Bruce Brown and others seek to add Initiative 257 to the November 2020 Colorado ballot, which would allow voters in Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek to remove the $100 limit on individual casino gambling wagers.
Colorado legalizes sports betting after voters narrowly approve Proposition DD, a bipartisan measure that allows online and retail sports betting in the state. The measure is approved with 51% of the vote and taxes sports betting (10% of net sports betting proceeds) to fund a state water conservation plan.
The U.S. Supreme Court overturns the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which had limited sports betting to Nevada. The ruling allows states to determine if they want legal online and retail sports betting.
A daily fantasy sports bill is passed and signed, making Colorado the fifth state to regulate daily fantasy sports.
Colorado casinos are permitted to increase betting limits to a maximum of $100, add additional games and operate 24 hours per day.
A casino gambling bill is passed after voters in 1990 approve Initiative 4, which permits limited gambling in Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek, an effort to revitalize the three struggling, historic mining towns. Included is a limited stakes rule, limiting all bets to a maximum of $5.
Sports betting in Colorado began with pari-mutuel horse racing, followed more than 60 years later by daily fantasy sports and now online and retail sports wagering.
Pari-mutuel wagering was legalized in 1948 with Centennial Race Track in Littleton the first to open, followed by a few other horse and greyhound racing facilities. Arapahoe Park in the Denver suburb of Aurora opened in 1992 and remains the only live horse racing venue in the state. Nearly a dozen off-track betting facilities across the state are open for simulcast wagering.
In 2016, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the fantasy sports regulation law. The state law limits fantasy contests to professional sports, with college sports not permitted.
In 2019, Colorado voters approved Proposition DD, legalizing online and retail sports betting. The state’s Division of Gaming established rules and licensing standards and the first legal online wager was placed on May 1, 2020.
COLORADO SPORTS BETTING HANDLE, AUGUST vs. JULY
|Total Handle||Mobile Handle||Revenue (GGR)|
|Change||Up 116.9%||Up 116.1%||Up 44.7%|
Updated Sept. 25
On May 1, four online operators began accepting sports bets in Colorado. Two other operators were approved and set to launch the following week.
|Online Sportsbook||Launch Date||Casino Partner|
|BetRivers||May 1, 2020||McGill’s Hotel and Casino|
|BetMGM||May 1, 2020||Midnight Rose Hotel and Casino|
|DraftKings||May 1, 2020||Golden Mardi Gras Casino|
|FanDuel||May 1, 2020||Golden Gates Casino|
|Monarch||May 2020||Monarch Casino|
|SBK||May 2020||Bronco Billy’s Casino|
Several other partnerships have already been announced are expected to join the Colorado mobile sports betting marketplace soon. Among them:
|Online Sportsbook||Expected Launch Date||Casino Partner|
|Barstool Sportsbook||2020||Ameristar Black Hawk Casino|
|BetAmerica||2020||Bronco Billy’s Casino|
|Circa Sports||2020||Century Casinos|
|PointsBet||2020||Double Eagle Hotel and Casino|
|SuperBook Colorado||2020||The Lodge Casino|
|William Hill||2020||Lady Luck, Isle of Capri|
In-person sports betting is restricted to the licensed casinos in Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek.
Each of the state’s 33 casinos is eligible to apply for a master license, which grants the casino the ability to offer online, land-based sports wagering, or both. According to the Colorado Department of Revenue, all 33 have applied for a master license, meaning in-person sports betting may soon be available at most of these locations. The state’s two tribal casinos are not required to apply for a license. Their compacts with the state allow them to offer sports betting as long as it is available elsewhere in Colorado.
Potential locations for in-person betting:
The menu is vast with betting on professional and college sports permitted, including games involving Colorado teams. That means unlimited betting on the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS, pro golf, tennis, motorsports, international sports, and the major NCAA sports. Betting on eSports is also permitted as long as the contests are sanctioned by a governing body and the participants are 18 years of age or older.
Colorado gambling law does not allow proposition bets on college games or wagering of any kind on high school sports.
No. You can live anywhere. The only requirement is you must be physically located within Colorado when placing a wager.
All bettors must be 21 years of age or older.
Under the state’s sports gambling law, only the owners of the casinos in Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek are eligible to hold a master license, which entitles each to partner with a licensed sports betting operator, internet sports betting operator or both. An online casino gaming bill might include similar conditions.
Online sports betting, daily fantasy sports, social casinos and pari-mutuel wagering are all available to Colorado players.
Betting with offshore casinos is never recommended. Offshore-based casino sites are unregulated and operate with no oversight. Withdrawals can be risky, and if your offshore site abruptly shuts down, you would likely lose access to your funds with no recourse.
At any of the state’s 30-plus casinos in Black Hawk, Central City or Cripple Creek, or at tribal-based casinos in Ignacio and Towaoc. Nearly all offer a wide variety of slots and table games and some have poker rooms. You can also wager on several Colorado sports betting sites and apps, including BetRivers, BetMGM, FanDuel and DraftKings.
The Ameristar Casino in Black Hawk has more than 1,250 slots and video poker machines, 40 table games and 22 poker tables.
Online casino gambling sites are not yet legal in Colorado. When they are, signing up will be similar to signing up at a Colorado online sports betting site. Simply choose your online operator, open an account, then make a deposit to fund your account.
Look for the options that best fit your style of play, such as game selection, software, ease of navigation, mobile apps, etc. When online casino gambling is approved, you will want to check out several licensed sites to determine which is the most comfortable for you.
Legal sports betting is regulated by the Colorado Division of Gaming and Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission, which also regulates the state’s retail casino gaming industry.
Once legalized, as long as you are playing on an online gambling site that is regulated and licensed by the state, games will be fair and your account secure.
All gambling winnings are considered taxable and must be reported, according to the IRS. The state income tax in Colorado is 4.63%, and the amount of federal taxes will depend on your tax bracket.
"Three decades covering online gaming, news and sports. My expertise is government and legislation, breaking down the latest online gambling industry developments to keep you in the know."
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