Colorado was the first US state in the post-PASPA era to legalize sports betting via referendum, and the first betting apps went live on May 1, 2020.
Voters approved Proposition DD in November 2019 by the narrowest of margins, making their Centennial State the 19th with legalized betting. The new CO sports betting law contains full provisions for both retail and online wagering in the state.
It is the only form of legal Colorado online gambling other than betting on horses.
The first legal sports betting apps are live for bettors in Colorado.
Colorado online sports betting is available via websites and mobile apps — including iPhone and Android — though each operator has its own timeline for rollout across those channels.
Click the links to read reviews and check current bonus offers available for each.
Each of the 30+ Colorado casinos is eligible to apply for a master license and align itself with up to two partners — one for online and one for retail.
The vast majority are commercial properties located in one of three gambling towns: Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek. The other two are tribal casinos located in the southwest corner of the state known as the Four Corners region.
|Casino||Location||Partner(s)||Retail opening||Online launch|
|Ameristar Casino||Black Hawk||Barstool Bets|
|Billy's Casino||Cripple Creek||Wynn Resorts|
|Brass Ass Casino||Cripple Creek|
|Bronco Billy's||Cripple Creek||BetAmerica|
|Bull Durham Saloon & Casino||Black Hawk|
|Century Casino Central City||Central City||Bet365|
|Century Casino Cripple Creek||Cripple Creek||Circa Sports|
|Christmas Casino||Cripple Creek||Smarkets|
|Colorado Grande Hotel & Casino||Cripple Creek|
|Dostal Alley||Central City||Betsson|
|Double Eagle Hotel & Casino||Cripple Creek||PointsBet|
|Easy Street Casino||Central City|
|Famous Bonanza||Central City|
|Gilpin Hotel & Casino||Black Hawk||theScore|
|Golden Gates||Black Hawk||FanDuel||May 1, 2020|
|Golden Gulch||Black Hawk|
|Golden Mardi Gras Casino||Black Hawk||DraftKings||May 1, 2020|
|Grand Z Casino||Central City|
|Isle Casino Hotel||Black Hawk||William Hill|
|Johnny Nolon's Casino||Cripple Creek||Carousel Group|
|Johnny Z Casino||Central City|
|JP McGill's Hotel & Casino||Cripple Creek||BetRivers||May 1, 2020|
|Lady Luck Casino||Black Hawk||Fox Bet||May 19, 2020|
|Lodge Casino||Black Hawk||SuperBook|
|Midnight Rose Hotel & Casino||Cripple Creek||BetMGM||May 1, 2020|
|Monarch Casino||Black Hawk||Stadium Tech||May 8, 2020|
|Red Dolly Casino||Black Hawk|
|Saratoga Casino||Black Hawk||Betfred|
|Sasquatch Casino||Black Hawk|
|Sky Ute Casino||Ignacio||USBookmaking||June 9, 2020|
|Ute Mountain Casino||Towaoc|
|Wild Card Saloon||Black Hawk|
|Wildwood Casino||Cripple Creek||ISI Race & Sports|
|Z Casino||Black Hawk|
Like many states, Colorado’s sports betting framework is built around its land-based casinos. There are three main types of license:
Only Colorado casinos can apply for master sports betting licenses, which are required to offer any form of sports betting in the state.
If a casino wishes to allow another party to operate a sportsbook on its behalf, the operator requires the corresponding type of license. Master licensees can only choose one operator for retail and online, though they may select a different partner for each category. Additional vendor licenses are required in cases where the primary licensee needs to subcontract additional portions of their operation.
Colorado sportsbooks offer lines on a broad selection of professional and collegiate sports and contests. Some of the most popular sports leagues for US bettors include:
More obscure options depend on the operator, but you’ll likely find some foreign sports alongside less popular games like darts and table tennis.
The Colorado legislature decided to rule out esports betting up front, something policymakers other states have in some cases allowed amid a larger trend. Booking action on games involving minors, such as high school sports, is also expressly disallowed in Colorado.
For the most part, Colorado sportsbooks offer the same options as those in other states with legal sports betting. These include:
Operators provide all of the typical options for combining straight bets, such as parlays and round-robins. A full menu of in-play betting options should additionally be available from most sportsbooks.
The Colorado law does have one noteworthy restriction, however — a prohibition against prop bets on college sports.
Sports betting in Colorado is taxed at the same rate regardless of whether it is conducted online or at a land-based casino. In both cases, the tax rate is 10% of gross winnings.
License fees are fairly trivial — just $2,000 for master licenses and $1,250 for operator or major vendor licenses. Elsewhere, up-front fees can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.
The state’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) means that any attempt to adjust sports betting taxes would require another public referendum.
Policymakers expect Colorado sports betting to generate $29 million in annual tax revenue, which implies $290 million in gross revenue. It may take a while to get there, however. Revenue for the first year or two of operation will more likely be in the $100 million-$200 million range.
Daily fantasy sports is also legal in the state of Colorado. In 2016, the state became one of the earliest to pass a law allowing DFS to operate legally. Contests are available on just about any sport that exists, including football, baseball, hockey, basketball and golf.
DraftKings and FanDuel are the two leading DFS operators in Colorado and across the country.
Like the majority of US states, horse betting can be conducted legally over the internet in Colorado.
Pari-mutuel wagering on races predates the 2018 repeal of PASPA and the inception of other forms of legal sports betting in the greater US. Advance-deposit wagering apps like TVG are available for use in Colorado.
Below are answers to some of the most common questions related to online sports betting in Colorado.
Yes! Colorado voters legalized sports betting in 2019, and the first apps launched in May 2020.
Yes! The CO sports betting law contains full provisions for online and mobile wagering.
Yes, approval for sports betting in Colorado includes both retail and online operations.
The timing of a retail rollout is less clear at the moment, as the coronavirus pandemic has forced all of the state’s casinos to temporarily close their doors.
All sports betting in Colorado, both retail and online, must be carried out in partnership with one of its land-based casinos.
Each casino must obtain a master license to offer sports betting, either on their own or in partnership with other third-party suppliers. Licensees can use one partner for retail sports betting and another for online sports betting — or the same one for both, more commonly.
Colorado’s brick-and-mortar casinos act as the primary licensees for sports betting, both retail and online. Each can deploy a single online platform, either by itself or in partnership with a third-party supplier. That means Colorado bettors could eventually have access to more than 30 online sportsbooks.
With a middling population of around 5.6 million residents, however, it’s not yet clear if the market can support that many options.
Broadly speaking, anyone at least 21 years old who is physically present in the state can bet legally. Residency is not a requirement, but location is.
Standard wagering prohibitions also apply, such as for key employees of the casinos or sportsbook providers, those with affiliations to the sports being wagered on, and those who have self-excluded or been barred from entry into the state’s land-based casinos.
The state of Colorado taxes sports betting revenue at a rate of 10%.
Yes. There are horse racing tracks in the state, and advance-deposit wager apps take online bets.
Yes. The state legalized DFS in 2016.
The Colorado Limited Gambling Control Commission (CLGCC) regulates online sports betting in the state.
17301 W. Colfax Ave.
Golden, CO 80401
Phone: (303) 205-1300
Email: [email protected]
Here’s a brief timeline of the relevant laws and regulations involving gambling in Colorado.
The first forms of legal gambling in Colorado were pari-mutuel wagering on races and charitable bingo, both dating back to 1950.
The state lottery was established in 1982 and was initially limited to scratch tickets. Land-based casino gambling then came to the state in 1991. The maximum bet at that time was a paltry $5 before being raised to $100 in 2008.
During first decade of the 21st century, the US was an online gambling gray market.
Colorado was among the first states to take action on its own to target unregulated gambling sites. In 2005, the state outlawed online casinos. Around the same time, the tribal casinos agreed not to offer any forms of gambling not available at the commercial casinos, receiving a tax break in return.
The following year, the federal government passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and began its years-long crackdown on illegal online gambling.
Nearly a decade later, there was a failed attempt to expand gambling in the state. This included bills for online casino and poker and a referendum on allowing casino gambling at the state’s racetracks. The online bills failed to pass, and racetrack casino gambling was voted down.
The appearance and rapid popularization of daily fantasy sports in the early 2010s caught US legislators by surprise. Despite falling under a carve-out for season long fantasy sports, DFS allowed wagering at a pace more closely resembling conventional sports betting.
Even now, some states have yet to adopt a clear position on DFS. Colorado was among those quick to take action, however.
In 2016, it became the fifth state to pass a law regulating DFS — and a fairly permissive one at that. It was, perhaps a sign of changing attitudes among the public and the state’s legislators.
In 2018, the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), and the possibility of sports betting was suddenly on the table in Colorado. A year later, the conversation moved forward with a purpose.
House Bill 1327, legalizing sports betting, cleared the legislature in April 2019. It couldn’t become law immediately, however.
Colorado’s Tax-Payer Bill of Rights (TABOR) requires that any law implementing a new tax get direct voter approval by way of a referendum before it can become law. That included H 1327, due to its 10% tax on operators’ gross revenues.
That November, Colorado voters took to the polls to cast their ballots on Proposition DD. Over 1.5 million people voted in the referendum. Despite some unfortunate ballot language that complicated the outlook, the Proposition passed by a margin of less than 3% — with 800,745 in favor and 756,712 opposed. Colorado sports betting was legal.