Guide to Online Gambling in Colorado: The Best Colorado Gambling Sites for 2021

Gambling in Colorado
Sports Legal Since: 2019
Daily Fantasy Legal Since: 2019
Casino Will Be Legal: TBD
Poker Will Be Legal: TBD
Lottery Legal Since: 1983

Colorado Sports Betting

Colorado has a hefty number of sports betting fans, as far as we are aware. Unfortunately, it is not legal in the state, at least up to the moment of writing these lines. But we have a piece of good news! It appears that authorities are taking actions towards the legalisation! Everything happened in the first half of 2019 and if you are curious and eager to learn more we have a surprise. We crafted a specific page in which we talk only about Colorado sports betting and we are sure that you will love it!

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Last updated: June 14, 2021
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Gambling Laws in Colorado

As set out in the Colorado Constitution, some types of gambling are legal in the state. These are limited casino gaming, daily fantasy contests, the Colorado lottery, live and off-track betting on horse racing and “social” gambling. Bingo, raffles and charitable games are also legal with a license from the secretary of state’s office. Gambling laws are dealt with by the Department of Revenue’s Division of Gaming and the Limited Gaming Control Commission.

Online gambling is very clearly illegal in Colorado, the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 stops players from using credit cards, checks or electronic bank transfers to place or settle bets. The Colorado government reminds players on its website that casino sites may be legal or licensed where they are based but it remains illegal to place bets from within the state. A formal opinion on online gambling was requested of the Attorney General by the Division of Gaming in 2013 which found an amendment to the constitution would be required to legalize online gambling in the state.

“Social” gambling is allowed between ‘bona fide’ friends in Colorado if the gambling has nothing to do with the relationship. No person who is not a player in the game may profit from the game either, which would constitute ‘professional gambling’. These two factors are required for a gambling activity to be considered “social” gambling under Colorado law.

Colorado Daily Fantasy Sports

Daily fantasy sports betting (DFS) was legalized in Colorado in 2016 with House Bill 16-1404. The Act was signed by Governor John W. Hickenlooper on October 6 and applies to conduct occurring on or after July 1, 2017. Daily fantasy betting in Colorado is provided only by operators that hold a license from the Director of the Division of Professions and Occupations, though small operators need only be registered. The Act also subjects operators to annual independent audits from a third party to ensure safety and fairness. Bets on college or lower-level sporting events are not allowed.

Colorado Online Casinos

As mentioned earlier, online gambling within the state of Colorado is illegal. This means there are no Colorado online casinos to speak of, though limited land-based casino gambling is permitted including blackjack and roulette. Colorado casinos are spread over three main towns; Cripple Creek, Black Hawk and Central City which were chosen to host casinos in an attempt to boost local economies. Several Colorado casino establishments are also legally located on two Indian reservations in the southwest corner of the state, owned by the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe in Towaoc, and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe in Ignacio. There are currently no plans to legalize online gambling in Colorado.

Colorado Lottery

The Colorado Lottery was the first legal form of gambling allowed in the state and began in January 1983 with scratch cards only. The first official lottery draw was on April 23 of that year. The lottery is run by the state government and is a member of the Multi-State Lottery Association. There are now six games available including Powerball, Mega Millions, Lucky for Life, Colorado Lotto, Cash 5 and Pick 3. The largest win in Colorado Lotto history was $27 million, won by Kim Walker of Boulder in 1992. In case we got you interested and you’d like to know more, check out our Colorado lottery page.

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Over $10 Million Won in Prizes

Colorado Poker

Gambling on poker games or playing poker for any prize is illegal in Colorado. The only exceptions are “social” gambling, which means playing a game of poker for money or other prizes is allowed within established friendship groups in private residences, or a poker tournament or casino night. These are allowed under the social gambling law if no donations, fees, buy-ins, tips or drink minimums are required. Prizes may be awarded to top performing players only if no monetary transactions of any kind are required.

History of Gambling in Colorado

Legal gambling in Colorado officially began in 1983 with the Colorado Lottery. Limited stakes casino gambling was approved by Coloradan voters on November 6, 1990 in a constitutional amendment. This was (and still is) limited to the towns of Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek as a means of revitalizing these communities and bets were limited to $5 on slots machines, blackjack and poker. Adding further legal gambling locations in Colorado would require an amendment to the constitution and while this has been attempted six times since 1992, each attempt has been defeated. Shortly after the first land-based casinos were opened, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe also decided to open casinos on reservation land. A study conducted by Deloitte & Touche found that between $29 and $33.3 million dollars circulated the economy from the operation of these two casinos from 1995-1999. The study considered negative social impacts in the local communities including substance abuse and raised numbers of car accidents though employment rates were positively impacted.

Colorado Gambling History
1983 The Colorado Lottery begins in January selling scratch cards, the first official draw took place on April 23, 1983.
1991 Legal casino gaming begins in Colorado with 11 land-based casinos.
1992 First Indian gaming establishment, the Ute Mountain Casino, is opened in September.
1992 Kim Walker of Boulder, wins $27 million in Colorado Lotto.
2006 The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act disallows online payments to place or settle bets.
2009 Amendment 50 meant that Colorado casinos could raise the accepted max bets from $5 to $100 and remain open 24 hours a day instead of from 8am to 2am.
2016 Governor John W. Hickenlooper signs act to legalize daily fantasy contests in Colorado.

Colorado State Facts

Colorado might be best known for becoming the first state to legalize recreational cannabis, but it is also home to the Denver Broncos, the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Rockies (the baseball team and the mountain range). Known as the Centennial State, Colorado was admitted to the Union by Ulysses S. Grant four weeks after the centennial of the United Sates in 1876. It was the 38th state to joint the Union and is known for its rugged and beautiful landscapes which include great plains and mountain ranges including the popular ski resort Aspen.

Facts About Colorado
Population 5,695,564
Min. Income $1,924
Biggest Offline Gambling Location Ameristar Casino Resort Spa, Black Hawk
Gambling Commissioner Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission
Spoken Languages English, Spanish
Biggest Local Sports Team
Colorado Tax Authority
Link to the State Law
Gambling Winning Tax 0.25 to 20% dependent on win amount.
State Website Link
Famous Local Gamblers There are currently no famous gamblers from Colorado.

Gambling Age in Colorado

The legal gambling age in Colorado varies from 18 for daily fantasy, lottery and bingo, to 21 for casino games or betting on horse racing. This extends to watching others gambling, betting or collecting winnings from any limited gaming game or slot machine. Underage gambling is illegal in the state and those caught are subject to a fine and can even be arrested which will result in a conviction on your permanent record.

  • Online Gambling Age:
    There’s no legal online gambling age in Colorado as all forms are illegal.
  • Alcohol Age
    21 is the legal drinking age in Colorado
  • Weed Age
    If you are 21 years of age, you can legally smoke marijuana in Colorado.

Responsible Gambling and Addiction Prevention

Colorado provides a lot of resources to those who may be at risk of gambling addiction or wish to stop gambling. In addition to the Limited Gaming Control Commission, the Problem Gambling Coalition of Colorado (PGCC) and the Colorado Gaming Association are also charged with protecting player interest and can help arrange self-exclusion programs. Gamblers Anonymous has many established groups in ten cities throughout the state and Gam-Anon helps supports family members of those with gambling problems.

Upcoming Regulation and Expected Changes

At present there are no plans to change gambling laws or regulations in Colorado. As mentioned earlier, the laws of the state are not easy to change when it comes to gambling and would require an amendment to the Colorado Constitution. As every attempt to add further legal gambling locations in the state has been blocked, it can be assumed that no large changes will be made to the laws in the near future. If you would like to know what the situation in the neighbouring states is or just find a more comfortable gambling location, then check out our guide on legal online gambling in the USA.

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