Colorado Online Gambling & Casinos

Legal online casinos, poker and sports betting in Colorado

The gateway to the West has officially opened, as Colorado gambling debuted to residents in early 2020. The gambling expansion provides the Centennial State with a taste of an ever-expanding industry, one that includes sports betting.

For the time being, sports betting remains the only form of regulated online gambling for the Coloradans. If you’re looking for Colorado online casinos or poker sites, the only legal options you have available are sweepstakes and social casino sites.

This page is an introduction to the legal status of all gambling in Colorado. Below, you’ll find more information on how to gamble online, which sites are accepting Colorado players and bonus offers. 

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Is online gambling legal in Colorado?

Yes, but only sports betting. While there is no legal online casino gambling or online poker in the state, Colorado sports betting made its debut in May 2020.

Voters in November 2019 approved the regulation of retail and online sports betting.

Colorado offers legal daily fantasy sports (DFS). It did so in 2016, with a bill allowing the state’s Division of Professions and Occupations to govern DFS activity and set license and renewal fees for operators. It also allows smaller DFS operators with less than 7,500 users to operate without a license.

Online lottery in Colorado

Colorado does offer online lottery sales. However, the Colorado Lottery does have a mobile app and website with information and game tools.

It is possible to purchase tickets for drawings in advance, using the state’s “Advance Play” option for PowerballMega Millions, Colorado Lotto+ and Lucky for Life tickets. However, Colorado does not offer an online or mail-in subscription service. The Advance Play feature is only available through lottery retailers.

Legal poker sites in Colorado

There is no online poker in Colorado. The last legislative effort to bring legal poker sites to Colorado was in 2013, and it didn’t even get to a vote.

Global Poker, using a sweepstakes model, remains to be the only legal online poker option for players in the state.

There are also six live poker rooms in Colorado, including:

  • Ameristar Casino Poker Room: Black Hawk (22 tables)
  • Golden Gates Casino Poker Parlour: Black Hawk (18 tables)
  • Isle Casino Poker Room: Black Hawk (seven tables)
  • Midnight Rose Poker Room: Cripple Creek (nine tables)
  • Sky Ute Casino Poker Room (tribal casino): Ignacio (six tables)
  • Ute Mountain Casino Poker Room (tribal casino): Towaoc (eight tables)

Cripple Creek, Central City, and Black Hawk casinos

This section is a directory of some of the largest casinos you can gamble at in Colorado.

In 1990, Colorado voters initially approved limited-stakes gaming in Cripple Creek, Central City, and Black Hawk. 

The first limited-stakes casinos launched in October 1991. The maximum bet allowed was only $5. Slots, blackjack, and poker were the only games allowed and casinos had to close from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m.

In 2008, CO voters passed Amendment 50, raising the maximum bet to $100, adding craps and roulette, and allowing the casinos to stay open 24 hours, starting in July 2009.

Voters again went to the polls in November 2020. This time, voters approved Initiative 257, which gives players the ability to place bets of any amount.

According to the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission, the number of open and operating licensed commercial casinos and Indian casinos in the state has dipped from 42 in 2013 to 33 in 2020.

The hope is that the launch of sports betting can be a boost to the local casino economy.

List of casinos in Colorado

Here’s a look at all of the Colorado casinos with casino games and what they have to offer:

  • Bronco Billy’s Casino Hotel, Cripple CreekBronco Billy’s Casino Hotel offers more than 800 slots and video poker, 21 and keno machines. Plus, there are a handful of table games, including blackjack, craps, three-card poker, and roulette. The casino is open 24/7, and there is a 24-room hotel on the property. Bronco Billy’s is owned and operated by Full House Resorts.
  • Saratoga Casino Hotel, Black Hawk: Saratoga Casino Hotel in Black Hawk offers nearly 500 slots and a handful of table games, including blackjack, craps, and roulette. The casino is open 24/7, and there are two bars and a cafe on the property.
  • Century Casino & Hotel, Central City: Century Casino & Hotel features nearly 500 slots and video poker machines, and a small table games area. The casino is open 24/7, and there is a hotel with 26 boutique-style rooms. There is also a Century Casino & Hotel in Cripple Creek with a smaller casino and 21-room hotel.
  • Mardi Gras Casino & Resort, Black Hawk: Mardi Gras Casino & Resort has 650 slots and video poker machines, 12 blackjack tables, two craps tables, and a roulette table. The casino is open 24/7, and there are two restaurants on the property. Twin River owns and operates the casino.
  • Golden Gates Casino, Black Hawk: Golden Gates Casino features almost 275 slot machines and eight table games, including blackjack, craps, and roulette, and an 18-table poker room. It is connected via a pedestrian bridge to Mardi Gras Casino.
  • Double Eagle Hotel & Casino, Cripple Creek: Double Eagle Hotel & Casino features almost 450 slot machines and a selection of table games. It is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. There are two top-rated restaurants on the property.
  • Brass Ass Casino, Cripple Creek: This casino offers live-action blackjack, high-five poker, craps, three-card poker, and roulette action 24/7. It also features video poker and slot machines. It’s the oldest casino in Cripple Creek and is home to the Miner’s Pick restaurant. It is one of the three Triple Crown Casino properties.
  • Dostal Alley Casino & Brewery, Central City: Dostal Alley Casino is also a microbrewery and restaurant. There are 500 slot machines and 10 table games on the property.
  • McGills Hotel & Casino, Cripple Creek: McGills Hotel & Casino has more than 320 slots and video poker games. Table games are available at its sister Triple Crown Casino properties. There is an Irish pub called J.P’s Pint & Platter inside.
  • Midnight Rose Hotel & Casino, Cripple Creek: Midnight Rose Hotel & Casino is the third connected Triple Crown Casino property. It has a nine-table poker room and nearly 400 slot machines. Dining is available at the Down Under steakhouse and Dynamite Dick’s Dining Emporium.
  • Monarch Casino, Black Hawk: Monarch Casino is in the middle of a renovation that will significantly expand the property when it’s completed sometime this year. Monarch Casino Black Hawk currently features 30,000 square feet of casino space with 740 slot machines and 14 table games. Visitors can enjoy the 250-seat buffet-style restaurant and a snack bar on the property.
  • Ameristar Casino Resort, Black Hawk: Ameristar Casino Black Hawk opened in 2001. With more than 1,250 slot machines, 40 table games, a 22-table poker room, a 500-plus room luxury hotel with access to the casino via a ski lift, a spa, mountaintop recreation park, and nightclub, it is the largest casino complex in the state. Gaming and Leisure Properties owns it, and Penn National Gaming manages the casino.
  • Sky Ute Casino Resort, Ignacio: Sky Ute Casino Resort is an Indian casino and hotel with more than 600 slots, blackjack, craps, roulette, three-card poker, and bingo. There’s also a hotel on the property with 140 luxury resort rooms, including eight culturally-themed suites. It offers Las Vegas-style gaming, unique and creative dining options, and a day spa and salon. Also, visitors can enjoy the swimming pool and sun deck, fitness center, and other amenities. Sky Ute Casino Resort is one of the few full-service gaming properties in the state.
  • Ute Mountain Casino Hotel, Towaoc: Ute Mountain Casino Hotel was the state’s first tribal gaming facility and it remains the largest casino in the Four Corners area. It features 780 slots with more than 50 multi-denomination, multi games featuring video keno, video poker, and video reels. Plus, six table games, including blackjack, roulette, three-card poker, and Ultimate Texas Hold’em.

The Colorado Lottery

The Colorado Lottery launched on Jan. 24, 1983, with just scratch tickets. The first draw games began on April 23, 1983.

Games include Cash 5, Pick 3, Colorado Lotto+ and multistate draw games, including Mega Millions, Lucky for Life, and Powerball scratch tickets.

Colorado Lottery retailer started selling Powerball tickets in 2001 and Mega Millions tickets in 2010. The Colorado Lottery launched Lucky for Life in 2016.

Fifty percent of Colorado Lottery proceeds go to a trust fund administered by Great Outdoors Colorado, which distributes the funds to local governments and land trusts. 

Another 40% goes to the Conservation Trust Fund and 10% to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

The Colorado Lottery has a free mobile app that allows you to:

  • Scan scratch and jackpot tickets to check for winners.
  • Enter bonus draws for scratch and jackpot games.
  • Find scratch tickets details, including top prizes remaining.
  • See jackpot amounts and drawing results.
  • Save your favorite numbers.
  • Get custom alerts.
  • Find the nearest lottery retailers.
  • Play free digital games.

Bet on horse races in CO

Colorado legalized pari-mutuel wagering on horse races in Colorado in 1948.  

Arapahoe Park is the only live horse racing venue in Colorado.  It offers live racing, running a mixed thoroughbred and quarter horse meet from May to August.

It also offers simulcast wagering. There are 12 off-track betting (OTB) parlors throughout the state that do the same. 

Colorado also permits online horse betting. Making bets online on horse races is legal due to a carve-out for pari-mutuel betting pools. 

You can bet on races that occur outside of the state. These sites allow you to bet on tracks across the country and international races, and the special bets include the winner of the Triple Crown.

Colorado gambling revenues

According to the American Gaming Association’s 2019 “State of the States” casino revenue roundup, casinos in Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek posted a combined $842.1 million in revenue in 2018.

That marked a record for Colorado gaming and a 1.7% increase over the $828 million the industry posted in 2017. It was also a 13% increase over 2014 when there were even more commercial casinos operating in Colorado.

Original estimates claimed the state could generate $20 million or more from the 10% tax that it will charge legal online gambling operators in the state. That would mean Colorado casinos and online gambling operators will be posting an additional $200 million a year in gambling revenue.

However, the governor’s office now estimates it will collect between $1.4 million and $1.7 million in sports betting tax revenue in the first year, ramping up to, at most, $10.4 million in the 2020-21 fiscal year. It is a more conservative estimate of an additional $100 million in gambling revenue in the first full year with legal sports betting in Colorado.

History of gambling in Colorado

Colorado has allowed pari-mutuel betting on horse races since 1949. Plus, there’s been a state lottery in Colorado since 1983.

However, Colorado gambling didn’t kick off until legal casino gambling came to the once sleepy mountain towns of Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek in 1991.

These former mining towns were on the verge of becoming ghost towns when Colorado voters approved Initiative 4 to the Colorado constitution, allowing for limited gambling operations in these three cities only to save the failing local economies.

Only slots, blackjack, and poker were allowed, single bets could not exceed $5, and the casinos could not run 24 hours a day. Still, small casinos opened up and persevered under these restrictions in Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek.

In 2008, the hope for increased revenue came in the form of Amendment 50. It sought to approve craps and roulette, allow the casinos to take bets of up to $100, and stay open 24 hours. Voters approved and revenues have been climbing ever since.

All three towns have been transformed from failed mining towns to quaint gambling destinations. 

Most of the smaller casinos are reminiscent of Old West saloons. There are 33 among the three towns, the largest of which are in Black Hawk.

Of course, Central City is just a few miles away, and both are less than an hour’s drive from downtown Denver. 

Cripple Creek is about an hour from Colorado Springs in the southeastern part of the state. Two tribal casinos owned and operated by the Ute tribe have also opened on the western side of the state.

Colorado still has live and simulcast horse racing at Arapahoe Park, just outside of Denver. Plus, 12 other off-track betting locations throughout the state.

The state lottery still runs and participates in the Mega Millions and Powerball multi-state draw games.

Now, sports betting is coming to the state. Also, 28 of the 33 casinos have already applied for sports betting master licenses, Colorado gambling appears on the verge of another boom.

One that will be spurred on even further by a recent movement to allow residents in Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek to decide for themselves when it comes to increased betting limits and new games.

Responsible gambling initiatives in Colorado

As the voice for the Colorado gaming industry, the Colorado Gaming Association (CGA) has issued the following responsible gaming position statement:

“(The CGA) defines problem gambling as any gambling behavior negatively impacting the lives of individuals, resulting in serious personal, financial, or legal consequences. Problem gambling takes two major forms: compulsive gambling and underage gambling, which affect both guests and employees. CGA believes problem gambling is a serious issue that deserves a proactive response from the casino industry. CGA is taking positive steps to address problem gambling because we do not want this behavior to harm our customers, employees, business operations, communities or industry. We have committed human and financial resources to promote education and awareness of compulsive gambling among our guests and employees. We have put in place policies and practices to deter underage gambling and discourage compulsive gambling. Our goal is to promote and support, to the fullest extent practical, responsible gambling behavior at every member casino of the Colorado Gaming Association.”

The CGA also offers training to casino employees, community and civic groups on the issues of problem and underage gambling.

The CGA also offers a self-exclusion program in conjunction with the Problem Gambling Coalition of Colorado (PGCC).

The program offers a voluntary self-exclusion program to those unable to gamble responsibly. Those taking advantage of the program can be removed from casino marketing lists, cancel slot club memberships, and cancel any check-cashing privileges with any and all casinos in Colorado.

The program is for those who want to cease gambling activities permanently. Casinos, including Ameristar and the Isle/Lady Luck Black Hawk, consider self-exclusion a permanent decision and will not allow even those who rescind self-exclusion to gamble.

Further resources for problem gamblers in Colorado include:

  • Colorado Gamblers Anonymous: For persons in recovery from gambling addiction. Information about meetings in Colorado and other resources is at www.coloradoga.org.
  • National Center for Responsible Gaming: Understands gambling disorders by funding high-quality research and creating public education initiatives. More information is at www.ncrg.org.
  • National Council on Problem Gambling: This is an umbrella organization for state problem gambling councils. More information is at www.ncpgambling.org.
  • Problem Gambling Coalition of Colorado: This program offers educational and treatment options for families in Colorado who face challenges with their gambling behaviors. More information is at www.problemgamblingcolorado.org.
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Bart Shirley

Bart Shirley is a writer and poker player from Houston, Texas. When he's not teaching high school math and business, Bart writes about the NJ online casino industry and US online poker. He has a master's degree in business administration from Texas Christian University and a degree in English from Texas A&M.

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