Colorado is an interesting area of the United States. Known mainly for being a mountainous region, home to some of the best ski hills in the country, the state is also a hotbed of gambling activity.
The choice by the state to legislate and regulate the sale and use of cannabis a few years back was an early sign that they may also have a progressive view on gambling. Let’s review all forms of gambling and how each is presented in Colorado.
Sports Betting in Colorado
Colorado is a sports haven, with all the major professional sports finding a home in the mountains. Also, college sports are very popular in the region, as are many of the Nordic sports that are not nearly as popular in areas that do not have the landscape of the Rockies in their backyard.
With all this sports activity, you would think that Colorado would have been one of the first states to implement regulation of sports betting after the Supreme Court repealed the federal law outlawing such activity outside of Nevada. However, the state chose to take a more “relaxed” approach (no doubt in light of the regulation of other vices, everything in Colorado is a little more chill these days). Currently, there are no sports betting laws being tabled, but that could very well be as a result of the 2018 Mid-term elections which would have seen the potential for many changes to the political landscape. With those elections behind us, the state will very likely make an effort to introduce gaming legislation in 2019.
One positive sign that regulated sports betting could be arriving in Colorado sooner than later was the passing of Daily Fantasy Sports rules in 2016, making Colorado one of a handful of states that have chosen the path of regulating the sports contests.
Online Sports Betting
Online betting is not legal yet in Colorado, but that isn’t stopping the population of Colorado from putting some action down on the results of local and international events. While the state does nothing to stop them, unregulated sportsbooks that choose to operate outside of regulation will be available at the click of a mouse or a thumb to offer lines and spreads on everything under the sun. Colorado residents will not be prosecuted for making these bets at unregulated sites, but there is a lot of risk in choosing to gamble with illegal sites. Namely, you might never receive your winnings and the games themselves might not be fair.
When betting online, from Colorado or elsewhere, the most important aspect for the player must be the ease and speediness to receive one’s winnings and that is not guaranteed with offshore sportsbooks. For our money, this is a bad deal and we advise against gambling with offshore sports betting sites.
Horse Betting in Colorado
With the elevation causing some breathing issues for human athletes, it is interesting to note that there is, in fact, one horse racing facility in the state. There used to be a couple of greyhound tracks as well, but those have long since shut down. That doesn’t mean that people have stopped betting on the outcomes of races – in fact, there are many off-track betting facilities open to residents of the state. Here is an assortment of the properties that allow pari-mutuel betting:
- Off to the Races in Pueblo
- Bank 8 Billiards in Grand Junction
- Post Time at the Playing Field Sports Bar – Colorado Springs
- Fort Collins – Sundance Steakhouse & Saloon
- Colorado Springs – Elevated Stakes at Union Station
- Celtic on Market
- Softball Country
- Havana Park
Online Horse Betting
As for online horse betting, Coloradans are allowed to bet at any of the sites that are offered to them online. None of the local tracks or OTBs have a license for online betting, so this means using companies like Churchill downs (Twinspires) or TVG for betting purposes. When the new sports betting legislation is introduced, no doubt the horse racing community will weigh in to ensure they are taken care of as well.
Casino Gambling in Colorado
With Colorado being one of the main areas of the gold rush in the 1800s, the state was booming economically. However, when that era died, so did some of the smaller towns in the region. A couple of towns essentially shut their doors, while others were doing everything they could to survive.
One of these towns, Cripple Creek, decided to turn to gambling to help revitalize the area, and in 1991 approved the building of casinos. Since then, the small town has become a bit of a gambling hotbed, and today there are 10 casinos offering slots, table games, and other electronic gambling machines.
There are also a few other towns that have gambling halls (these are not the Mirage by any stretch), giving Colorado residents almost two dozen options that are available to them. There are also two tribal casinos on native land that are open to the public.
Online Casinos in Colorado
At this time, there is no legal online casino presence in the state. This is in line with the majority of the country, and there is no indication that there will be a change in laws anytime soon.
When comprehensive online gaming laws come to pass in Colorado, we expect the major online casino providers of Europe to flock to the state to offer their games and that will mean more games and bigger jackpots for players in Colorado.
Lottery in Colorado
The lottery has been around in Colorado in its current form (it was around in the Gold Rush days but was disbanded back then) since 1983. Like all the other lotteries in the United States, lottery games are managed on the state level, and proceeds from lottery profits are put back into the system to assist with education and other causes. The state also participates in the joint jackpots such as Mega Millions and Powerball, and they also offer loads of their own games including dozens of different scratch tickets ranging in price from one dollar to 50 dollars.
At this time, there is no online lottery game to be accessed by residents of Colorado, and no plans to expand the lottery outside of retail sales.
FAQ on Colorado betting
Is Sports betting legal in Colorado?
As of 2018, there is no sports betting law active in Colorado, meaning that there is not yet locally licensed sportsbooks in the state of Colorado.
When will sports betting be legal in Colorado?
There is no legislation currently on the docket in Colorado to pass comprehensive gambling legislation that would legalize Sports betting. Following the repeal of PASPA in 2018, dozens of states have started work on crafting sports betting regulations however and we expect Colorado to follow suit. It all depends on local politics and the legislator’s motivations, but we expect that sports betting will be legal in Colorado by the end of the year 2019.
What is the best Sportsbook in Colorado?
Right now there is no sportsbook legally authorized to offer betting in Colorado but as a matter of generality, the best sportsbook is the one which offers the best all around service to its players. This includes of course offering an interesting selection of betting lines and sporting events. Also important are the bonus offers and the quality and accessibility of Customer Service.