Colorado Sports Betting

Legal online sports betting and mobile apps in the Centennial State

Colorado is soon to be a full-service sports betting state. Coloradans will be able to wager on sports from their mobile devices and from several of the land-based casinos in the state.

This new bloom of gambling activity became a reality in Colorado after the passage of Proposition DD in the November 2019 election. The legislatively-referred measure authorized the creation of sports betting in the state as a means to fund the state’s water projects.

The first online sportsbooks in Colorado could debut as soon as May 2020. Read on for all the latest news, updates, and promotional codes that are coming to the great state of Colorado.

Latest updates on Colorado sports betting

Last updated March 31, 2020

Colorado has one month remaining before its May 1 launch date, and activity continues at a furious pace in the state. At this point, it does not appear that the state is planning on a delay due to concerns over COVID-19.

At this point, the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission has received at least 60 applications for various licensing surrounding sports betting. More than half the applications are for master licenses, which means that there are plans for dozens of sportsbooks in the works for the state.

The commission’s most recent meeting on March 19 yielded 16 new license approvals for 11 different companies. Though most of these were for vendor licenses, gaming operators Twin River (doing business as Premier Entertainment Black Hawk) and Full House Resorts took home three master licenses.

In all, Colorado has issued 31 licenses of various types regarding sports betting. It’s an impressive number, but according to the plans for the commission meeting on April 2, approvals are set to double.

Which online sportsbooks will launch in Colorado first?

The big question about the impending launch of sports betting, aside from the actual date of launch, is which companies will be the first to open their doors. The short answer is that it’s not clear.

The first indication of the level of interest that operators have in Colorado came during the January 2020 meeting of the Colorado Division of Gaming. Incredibly, the commission reported that it had fielded 51 different applications for sports betting since the passage of Proposition DD.

Of the 51, there were 28 master license applications, 10 operator licenses and 13 internet licenses submitted for review. It’s a fair assumption that there will be plenty of competition for Colorado online sportsbooks.

So far, there are only a few companies that have been willing to confirm that they have submitted an application. Those companies include:

  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel
  • PointsBet
  • BetAmerica
  • Smarkets
  • Twin River
  • Wynn Resorts
  • Betfred
  • theScore

DraftKings, PointsBet, Betfred and theScore have all received approval from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission.

Needless to say, there are some heavy hitters in that crowded field. Of the group, DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet stand out due to the fact that they have been first or early to market in several other states.

How online sports betting will work in Colorado

Though the notion of 51 applications may seem like there’s an avalanche of interest, the truth is that the language of Proposition DD has set this kind of thing in motion.

Colorado is home to 31 commercial casinos. The properties are located within the city limits of three Rocky Mountain towns – Black Hawk, Century City, and Cripple Creek.

The state also hosts 2 tribal casinos in the southwestern corner of the state. By virtue of their compacts, the tribes are allowed to add any games authorized elsewhere in the state. However, they have not definitively indicated that they will be opening sportsbooks yet.

Under the law, every one of these casinos is able to apply for a master license for sports betting. The master license, which will come with a yet-to-be-determined renewal fee, authorizes the casino to offer both retail and mobile wagering.

Furthermore, the license allows the bearer to partner with up to two strategic operators. The in-state casinos can use a company for land-based sports betting, a company for online sports betting, or the same company for both types of betting.

The 28 master license applications mean that most of the casinos in the state are on board with sports betting. Though it’s not clear exactly which 5 casinos have refrained from applying so far, they either will soon, or they don’t see a need.

There are no restrictions regarding registration or any other type of activity through mobile sports betting. This freedom is likely critical to Colorado’s success in sports betting, since the state contains such wide swaths of famously-rugged terrain.

The only restrictions on betting will be on high school sports and esports. Prohibitions on wagering for high school events are ubiquitous throughout the US, and esports remain a somewhat suspicious commodity for some state lawmakers.

What will I have to do to play?

If you have not had a chance to travel to other states with mobile sports betting, you could be understandably intimidated about getting started. However, playing on a Colorado sports betting app is going to be largely the same as using any other mobile app.

Downloading a sports betting app

The first thing to do will be to follow one of our links to the sportsbook that piques your interest. You want to make sure to note if we have any exclusive offers for you to use, as there might be free money available.

Once onsite, click on the button for your mobile device’s format. There should be buttons for both iOS (Apple) and Android users.

iPhone users will only have to download their apps through the usual process to get started. Make sure to doublecheck whether there is an app specific to Coloradans on your sportsbook of choice, however.

Android users will need to set their phones to allow installations from other sources. Then, a visit to the site through their browsers (Chrome) should get the download started.

Registering for a new account

Once you have downloaded and installed the app, the next step will be to register for an account. There should be a prominent button in the top right of your appscreen that says something like “Register” or “Sign Up.”

Pressing that button will take you to the registration form or forms for the site. There, the app will ask you for various bits of personal information in order to generate your new account.

Information you may have to provide includes:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Date of Birth
  • Cell phone number
  • Address
  • Social Security number (or last four digits)

You are likely going to need to designate a username and password to allow you access to your account. Additionally, the site may ask you to provide answers to selected challenge questions in order to construct an extra layer of security.

Finally, there will likely be an optional box for a bonus code somewhere in the registration area. If our link indicates that there is a code, make sure to enter it here.

How will deposits and withdrawals work?

As is the case with any gaming, it is necessary to be able to transfer funds in and out of an online sportsbook to play. The idea of putting actual dollars into cyberspace might seem daunting, but it’s actually a safe and easy process (in most cases).

Deposits

In order to get started with betting, you will need to deposit funds into your new sportsbook account. Some online sportsbooks might try to get you to do this immediately after registering, but don’t proceed until you are comfortable doing so.

When you are ready to get started, look for a button that leads to the Cashier. This button is usually labeled as such, but it can sometimes simply say “Deposit,” too.

Once there, you will have a variety of available options for transferring money online. Most sportsbooks have as many choices as they can, in hopes that every player has at least one method that will work for their financial situation.

Typical options that you might find for making a deposit into a sportsbook account include:

  • Credit or debit cards (Visa, Mastercard, etc.)
  • Online bank transfers (similar to online bill pay)
  • Wire transfers
  • Electronic checks (ACH or VIP Preferred)
  • Prepaid cards (Play+)
  • Electronic wallets (PayPal, Skrill, etc.)
  • PayNearMe (via 7-Eleven)
  • Cash at the land-based casino cage
  • Checks or money orders

Now, few sportsbooks will have all of these options. Furthermore, the options at a particular site can change as they negotiate new deals with vendors.

Two things that bear mention are a couple of caveats associated with using credit or debit cards to deposit. Though these methods are common, there can be some conditions that can rear their ugly heads if you try to deposit with one of them.

The first problem is that some banks simply won’t allow deposits into gambling sites with their credit cards. Even some major banks, like Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo, are known to decline transactions that go to gambling-based merchants.

Secondly, even if your bank will accept a credit card deposit to a sportsbook, it could very well treat the deposit like a cash advance. Cash advances on credit cards can come with hefty fees attached, so be sure to investigate your card’s terms and conditions before you use this method.

To that end, it’s a good idea to go ahead and figure out which method or methods above would work for you. If a sportsbook does not offer a method that you can use, then that’s a perfectly valid reason to choose a competing site.

One last thing: be sure to check PlayUSA before you submit a deposit request to your sportsbook of choice. We will have any bonus offers that each sportsbook has, and we often share exclusive deals that simply cannot be found elsewhere.

Cashing out of CO sportsbooks

Of course, the hope when you put money into your sportsbook account is that you will be getting it (and more) back out. So, online sportsbooks have to offer several methods for withdrawal, too.

Now, in most cases, there are fewer methods for withdrawal than there are for deposits. The simple truth is that not all deposit methods can flow both directions.

Furthermore, some withdrawal methods will only be available if you used that method to deposit in the first place. PayPal and Skrill often fall under this restriction, so make sure to investigate withdrawal methods before you deposit.

Generally speaking, most sportsbooks prefer to process withdrawals through either electronic or paper checks. So, if you can receive e-checks, that’s probably going to be the fastest method to withdraw.

Paper checks will process and be sent to your mailing address on file. Obviously, this method is slower than many, but it’s mostly a reliable source for getting your money back.

Possible withdrawal methods on online sportsbooks include:

  • Online bank transfers (similar to online bill pay)
  • Wire transfers
  • Electronic checks (ACH or VIP Preferred)
  • Prepaid cards (Play+)
  • Electronic wallets (PayPal, Skrill, etc.)
  • Cash at the land-based casino cage
  • Checks

How to navigate Colorado betting apps

Despite the fact that Colorado will have many competing sportsbooks in-state, they will mostly have similar formats. After all, it could be jarring to bettors looking to give a new site a try, but not be able to figure out where anything is.

So, generally speaking, the left side of a sportsbook app will contain a list of the sports that it offers for wagering. The top sports usually get their own link, then a catch-all link at the bottom, entitled “A-Z Sports” or something similar, will take players to the complete list.

The middle of the page is where the sportsbook will host its featured bets. These wagers could include current live offerings, odds boosts, or other popular selections that many sports bettors might want.

Finally, the right side of the page is usually the betslip. This section will self-populate with any selections that the bettor makes.

The betslip is also where the player can choose to make a bet a parlay or a round robin. If a bet qualifies for a cashout option, the button to exercise the option will illuminate here.

Areas for managing your account are usually going to be in the top ribbon of the app display. The cashier, promotions, and account preference screens are usually pretty easy to find.

It’s a good idea to pay special attention to the promotions section each time you log onto the site. You never know when a new offer could put hundreds of dollars into your pocket.

Retail sports betting in Colorado

As noted, up to 33 casinos in the state could house brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. That means a majority of the following will feature retail operations:

  • Ameristar Casino, Black Hawk 
  • Black Diamond Casino, Cripple Creek
  • Brass Ass Casino, Cripple Creek 
  • Bronco Billy’s Casino, Cripple Creek 
  • Bull Durham Saloon and Casino, Black Hawk 
  • Bullpen Casino, Black Hawk 
  • Bullwhackers Casino, Black Hawk
  • Canyon Casino & The Grand Plateau, Black Hawk 
  • Century Casino & Hotel, Central City
  • Colorado Central Station Casino, Black Hawk
  • Colorado Grande Casino, Cripple Creek
  • Creeker’s Gaming Hall, Cripple Creek
  • Dan Cooper’s Eureka! Casino, Black Hawk 
  • Doc Holliday Casino, Central City 
  • Dostal Alley Casino & Microbrewery, Central City
  • Double Eagle Hotel & Casino, Cripple Creek 
  • Gold Creek Casino, Cripple Creek  
  • Easy Street Casino, Central City
  • Famous Bonanza, Central City 
  • The Gilpin Casino, Black Hawk 
  • Golden Gates Casino, Black Hawk
  • Golden Gulch Casino, Black Hawk
  • Mardi Gras Casino, Black Hawk
  • Isle of Capri Casino and Hotel, Black Hawk 
  • McGills Hotel & Casino, Cripple Creek 
  • Johnny Nolon’s Casino, Cripple Creek 
  • The Lodge Casino, Black Hawk 
  • Midnight Rose Hotel & Casino, Cripple Creek 
  • Red Dolly Casino, Black Hawk 
  • Grand Z Casino Hotel, Central City 
  • Wild Card Saloon & Casino, Black Hawk 
  • Monarch Casino Resort Spa, Black Hawk 
  • Saratoga Casino, Black Hawk 
  • Silver Hawk Casino, Black Hawk
  • Sky Ute Casino & Resort, Ignacio
  • Uncle Sam’s Casino, Cripple Creek 
  • Ute Mountain Casino & Hotel, Towaoc
  • Womacks Casino & Hotel, Cripple Creek

While not every property is expected to jump at the opportunity to offer regulated sports betting, certainly a good portion of this list will step forward and apply for licensing.

Betting on pro, collegiate teams in Colorado

A few cities in America boast an expansive offering of sports as Denver.

The capital of Colorado stands as one of 13 cities nationwide that is home to a franchise from each the MLBNBANFL and NHL. It is one of only six cities in the country that has all of its professional teams play within the metropolitan area.

  • Colorado Avalanche (NHL)
  • Colorado Rockies (MLB)
  • Denver Broncos (NFL)
  • Denver Nuggets (NBA)

Colorado is also home to the Colorado Rapids of the MLS.

The Centennial State also authorizes betting on college sports, though prop betting will be prohibited. Such an allowance provides the public the opportunity to wager on NCAA Division I programs such as:

  • Air Force (Mountain West)
  • Colorado (Pac-12)
  • Colorado State (Mountain West)
  • Denver (Summit)
  • Northern Colorado (Big Sky)

What bets will be available at Colorado sportsbooks?

As the state awaits regulators to flip the switch on legalized sports betting in May 2020, specifics of what to expect from the industry remain scarce.

That said, based on language in the Colorado bill and how the majority of bookmakers operate in other states, there are several areas of the Colorado market about which we can safely speculate. Among them are types of wagers available to bettors.

From single-match outcomes to parlays and professional props, the Colorado sports betting industry should run the gamut:

  • Moneyline: Sportsbooks offer lines that suggest the odds of any given team winning a single event. Each line is based on a $100 wager. Favorites carry a negative number; for example, -110, which tells bettors they need to bet $110 to win $100. On the flip side, underdogs can carry a positive number; for example, a +110 says bettors can win $110 on a $100 wager.
  • Totals: These over/under numbers indicate how many points, goals, runs, etc., are expected to score in a single game. Bettors simply wager on more or less than the given amount.
  • Spreads: These numbers tell bettors how many points/goals/runs a team is favored by. The public can lay money down on the underdog to “cover the spread” (losing by less than the given amount or winning outright) or for the favorite to win by more than the number indicated.
  • Parlays: Bets that involve multiple events. Though risky, parlays provide better returns from a smaller stake. That said, one leg’s loss results in a parlay’s loss.
  • Teasers: This form of parlay includes spreads, which reduce the risk of individual contests. Wins come more often, but returns remain low.
  • Props: Any bet which is on the performance of individual players: yards rushed, points scored and so on. As noted, prop bets in Colorado will only be available for pro sports.
  • Futures: These wagers rely on a season’s outcome rather than a single game. Betting on a conference, division and league winners are examples of futures wagers.
  • In-play: Bets made on an event while the event is ongoing and with odds changing in real-time.

Colorado sports betting laws

Sports betting became legal in Colorado at the conclusion of the November 2019 election. The narrow (51-49) passage of Proposition DD has set things in motion to allow every commercial casino in the state to host retail and online sports betting.

According to the law, the earliest date that sports betting could launch in Colorado is May 1, 2020. Reports indicate that although there’s some uncertainty about it, both regulators and operators are working diligently to launch on or about that date.

The state is continuing to work with operators and other stakeholders to refine the rules surrounding the practice. At present, here are the major highlights of Colorado’s sports betting law and rules:

  • All of the state’s casinos can apply for master licenses to offer sports betting.
  • Master licenses permit the holder to offer a retail sportsbook and one online sports betting skin.
  • Pursuant to the retail and online sides of the operation, a master license holder may partner with up to two different operators.
  • The state will collect 10% of net sports betting proceeds as taxes.
  • Betting on high school sports and esports is strictly prohibited.
  • Proposition wagers on collegiate events is forbidden. This restriction extends to live betting.
  • Mobile registration is allowed.
  • The Colorado Limited Gaming Commission is the oversight body for sports betting in the state.

How big will the sports betting market be in Colorado?

Original estimates said the state could generate $20 million or more from the 10% tax it will charge legal sports betting operators in the state. That would mean operators posting $200 million a year in sports betting revenue.

However, estimates now say the state will collect between $1.4 million and $1.7 million in sports betting tax revenue in the first year. That’ll go up to $10.4 million in the first fiscal year, which is a more conservative estimate of $100 million in gambling revenue in the first full year with legal sports betting in Colorado.

Background on Colorado sports betting laws

Gaming expansion in Colorado has not fared well in recent years.

In 2014, voters decisively shot down a proposal to expand racetrack casinos. That came a year after lawmakers in the state attempted to craft legislation to legalize online poker; such an effort faced a similar fate as the expanded casinos.

Attitudes appeared to shift following the US Supreme Court’s repeal of PASPA in 2018. Nearly a year later, a bill to legalize sports betting, H 1327, sailed through the Colorado House and the Senate Finance and Appropriations committee.

Still, another hurdle remained before celebrations began. The state’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) requires a public vote on any bill that would raise taxes. As such, the effort to legalize wagering, known as Proposition DD, hit the November 2019 ballot.

Many believed a roaring success was in store. Instead, the public created a nail-biter. After two days of back-and-forth ballot counting, Proposition DD passed with 51.16% of the vote. As a result, regulated sports betting could arrive in Colorado by May 2020.

State law limits brick-and-mortar betting to casinos in Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek. They would apply for a master license and be authorized to launch land-based wagering, online sports betting or both.

Regulated by the Colorado Division of Gaming, sports betting would have net revenue taxed at a 10% rate.

Colorado Sports Betting FAQ

When will online sports betting launch in Colorado?

While voters have legalized sports betting in Colorado, the public will still have to wait before the industry launches.

The Colorado Division of Gaming will need to draft a regulatory framework and vet operator applications. That said, the state expects regulated wagering to go live by May 2020.

Where will the retail sportsbooks open?

Up to 33 casinos could apply to operate retail and online sportsbooks. Land-based operations, however, would be limited to the three areas of the state that host casinos:

  • Black Hawk
  • Cripple Creek
  • Central City

What's included in Colorado betting laws?

Casinos can apply to operate land-based and online sportsbooks with net revenue taxed at a 10% rate. These funds will go toward the state’s water management plan as well as toward efforts to address problem gambling.

Bettors can wager on professional and college sports, but prop bets for collegiate events will be prohibited.

There aren’t wagering on high school sports or video games in “not sanctioned by a sports governing body as an electronic competition.”

Bettors must be at least 21 years old to bet and within state lines when gambling online.

Do I have to live in Colorado to bet online?

No. Both residents and visitors to Colorado will be able to access its sportsbooks. The only requirements are that you’re of legal age and physically inside the state lines when you bet online.

Will I be able to bet using my iPhone or Android?

Yes, online sports betting will be part of the Colorado industry, and most operators will surely launch products that are compatible with Android and iOS devices.

What kind of bets are legal in Colorado?

The bill that legalizes sports betting details the types of bets that will be allowed by regulators. And, for the most part, the list resembles that of nearly every other state:

  • Single-game bet
  • Teasers
  • Parlays
  • Totals
  • Moneylines
  • In-game wagering
  • Prop bets on professional sports only

Can I bet on Colorado sports teams?

As the bill is written, yes. Not only on Colorado’s professional teams but also the state’s colleges.

The list includes:

  • Colorado Avalanche (NHL)
  • Colorado Rockies (MLB)
  • Denver Broncos (NFL)
  • Denver Nuggets (NBA)
  • Colorado Rapids (MLS)
  • University of Colorado
  • Colorado State
  • Air Force

Will CO sportsbooks offer bonuses?

Yes. There will be a lot of competition between CO sports betting apps, and a lot of opportunities to grab a welcome bonus. These take several forms:

  • Free play bonuses: Small amounts (for example $20) simply for registering
  • Matched first deposit bonuses: Usually a 100% match to your first deposit
  • Risk Free Bets: Refunds if your first bet is not a winner (Up to $500 or more)
  • Promos / special offers: It is worth keeping an eye on the “promotions” pages for extra deals