Colorado Gambling Sites - A Guide to Gambling In Colorado

Colorado, aka the Centennial State, is the 21st most populous state. It had an estimated population of over 5.5 million in 2016.

Colorado offers regulated and tribal casinos, horse racing, social gambling, lottery and charitable bingo and raffle games. Overall, Colorado is a pro-gambling state, but their online gambling regulations are a gray area.

Here's an overview of what you should know about Colorado gambling sites.

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Online Gambling and Colorado Law

Is online gambling legal in Colorado?

According to the Colorado Department of Revenue Enforcement Division:

"Internet gambling is illegal under state and federal laws. Colorado law prohibits the transmission or reception of gambling information by any means. The federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, signed into law in October 2006, prohibits online gamblers from using credit cards, checks and electronic fund transfers to place and settle bets. Further, the federal 1961 Wire Act also prohibits the use of wire communications in interstate or foreign commerce for the placing of bets or wagers or information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers.

In addition, the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission prohibits persons and businesses licensed in the casino industry in Colorado from having any involvement with internet gaming sites that can be accessed by Colorado residents."

Based on this information, we would say that online gambling is illegal in Colorado.

The thing is, the laws referenced above were not specifically written for online gambling.

Also, Colorado has no laws specifically disallowing online sports betting at offshore companies or race betting in other states through the Internet. We offer several recommendations for reputable offshore sports books on our site - most of them are happy to do business with residents of Colorado.

Can I get arrested for gambling online in Colorado?

Based on the information above, gambling online seems to be a gray area in Colorado. While the Colorado Department of Revenue says that online gambling is illegal, the laws they reference are aimed at professional gamblers--not casual gamers or online gamblers.

The state government is against online gambling, and has tried to rid the internet of sweepstake cafes, but no one has ever been arrested in Colorado for online gambling.

If you try to start an online casino, bookie or other gambling organization in Colorado, you'll almost certainly be arrested. The state's enforcement activities focus almost entirely on people running illegal gambling businesses. Customers of those businesses are usually ignored.

Our advice, of course, is to obey the law no matter where you live. But realistically, if you're just placing bets online, you shouldn't have any worries.

More Gambling Laws in Colorado


  • Casino Games (Legal With Restrictions)
  • Sports Betting (Illegal With Exceptions)
  • Race Betting (Legal With Restrictions)
  • Lottery (Legal)
  • Bingo (Charitable Games Only)
  • Social Gambling (Legal)

According to section 18-10-101 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, gambling is defined as,

"'Gambling' means risking any money, credit, deposit, or other thing of value for gain contingent in whole or in part upon lot, chance, the operation of a gambling device, or the happening or outcome of an event, including a sporting event, over which the person taking a risk has no control"

Casino games: Legal with restrictions


The only legal casino games in Colorado are blackjack, poker, craps, roulette and slot machines.

Here's what section 47.1-104 of the Colorado Code of Regulations says about authorized games:

"Limited gaming permitted pursuant to article 47.1 of title 12, C.R.S., shall include only the following games: blackjack (21); poker; slot machines; craps; and roulette. All such games shall be conducted by licensees only in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the Commission."

Here's what section 47.1-105 of the Colorado Code of Regulations says about unauthorized games:

"No licensee shall conduct or permit on its licensed premises any wagering or gambling, except limited gaming which is conducted according to all the rules and regulations promulgated by the Commission and except other wagering activities licensed or approved by an agency of the State of Colorado."

According to the section 18-10-103 of the Colorado Revised Statues:

"(1) A person who engages in gambling commits a class 1 petty offense.

(2) A person who engages in professional gambling commits a class 1 misdemeanor. If he is a repeating gambling offender, it is a class 5 felony."

Sports betting: Illegal with some exceptions


Colorado has no regulated sports betting, and has prohibited live bookies or online sports betting organizations.

Colorado residents can bet online at offshore sports betting businesses. We discussed that earlier, but we'll mention it again here. If you're looking for a legitimate, trustworthy Colorado sports betting site, most of the sports books we recommend here are happy to do business with sports bettors in Colorado.

According to a letter from Attorney General Suthers and the Gaming Commission, you can also participate in sports betting, if it qualifies as social gambling.

Here's what the letter says:

"office sports pools are allowed under a 'social gambling' exception under state law. For an activity to be considered 'social gambling', all participants must have a 'bona fide social relationship', meaning that they have an established social relationship based upon some other common interest other than the gambling activity, and no one other than the participants can profit from the game or activity in any manner"

Race betting: Legal with restrictions


Horse Racing

Pari-mutuel betting is the only legal horse race betting in Colorado. Here's what section 12.212 and 12.213 of the Colorado Racing Commission Rules says about methods of wagering on horse racing:

"12.212 - All wagers on any race meet licensed or approved by the Colorado Racing Commission shall be made in person at a licensed facility unless the wager is incidental to a bona fide social relationship.

12.213 - Association and Simulcast facilities shall set up wagering accounts in conjunction with an onsite portable wagering unit that is checked out to an individual customer of the facility. Accounts shall only be opened with a cash deposit, and shall at no time have a negative balance. Units used in conjunction with the account must be approved in advance by the division."

Colorado has only one horse race track: Arapahoe Park. There are 12 off-track betting locations for Arapahoe Park.

Several locations statewide offer simulcast horse and greyhound racing for different parts of the United States.

Arapahoe Park

26000 East Quincy Ave.

Aurora, CO 80016

Phone: (303) 690-2400

Dog Racing

Colorado outlawed dog racing in 2014.

Here's what section 12-60-604 of the Colorado Revised Statues says about greyhound racing:

"No live greyhound racing involving the betting or wagering on the speed or ability of the greyhounds racing shall be conducted in Colorado. The commission shall not accept or approve an application or request for race dates for live greyhound racing in Colorado."

Lottery: Legal


Colorado has a state regulated lottery. Some of the games they provide are listed below:

  • Powerball
  • Mega Millions
  • Lucky for Life
  • Lotto
  • Cash 5
  • Pick 3
  • Scratch

Bingo: Charitable games only


According to the Colorado Secretary of State:

"Only non-profit organizations that have been in existence in Colorado for five or more years are eligible to be licensed and conduct bingo and/or raffles."

Any for-profit organizations are prohibited from holding bingo or raffle games.

A maximum of $15,000 worth of prizes can be given out at bingo or raffle games. Alcohol as a prize is prohibited.

Social Gambling: Legal


Social gambling in Colorado is legal, but only under two conditions:

  • It cannot be professional gambling.
  • The players must have some social relationship besides gambling.

Here's what the Colorado Department of Revenue says about social gambling:

"Colorado law allows a 'social gambling' exception, which allows 'gambling' that is incidental to a bona fide social relationship and is participated in by natural persons. A 'bona fide social relationship' means that the parties must have an established social relationship based upon some other common interest other than the gambling activity.

Further, one participating in such social game cannot directly or indirectly participate in 'professional gambling', which is defined in Colorado law as 'aiding or inducing another to engage in gambling, with the intent to derive a profit there from'. This generally means that no one other than the players can profit from the game or activity in any manner.The profit does not need to be direct profit.Colorado law defines 'profit' as any 'realized or unrealized benefit, direct or indirect, including without limitation benefits from proprietorship, management, or unequal advantage in a series of transactions.'

These two criteria - a bona fide social relationship and no profit motive - must be present for a gambling activity to be considered legal 'social gambling.' "

Gambling Venues in Colorado

You can find a variety of casinos in Colorado. But the only cities they're allowed in are Central, Black Hawk and Cripple Creek.

All other casinos in Colorado are Indian reservation casinos.

1. The Golden Hotel

800 11th St

Golden, CO 80401

Phone: (303) 800-5045

2. Ameristar Casino Resort Spa

111 Richman St

Black Hawk, CO 80422

Phone: (720) 946-4000

3. Colorado Grande Casino

300 E Bennett Ave

Cripple Creek, CO 80813

Phone: (719) 689-3517

4. Golden Gates Casino

261 Main St

Black Hawk, CO 80422

Phone: (303) 582-1650

5. Century Casino & Hotel Central City

102 Main St

Central City, CO 80427

Phone: (303) 582-5050

6. Ute Mountain Casino, Hotel & Resort

3 Weeminuche Dr

Towaoc, CO 81334

Phone: (970) 565-8800

7. Reserve Casino Hotel

321 Gregory St

Central City, CO 80427

Phone: (303) 582-0800

8. Isle Casino Hotel Black Hawk

401 Main St

Black Hawk, CO 80422

Phone: (303) 800-9903

9. Wildwood Casino

119 N Fifth St

Cripple Creek, CO 80813

Phone: (719) 244-9700

10. Midnight Rose Hotel & Casino

256 Bennett Ave

Cripple Creek, CO 80813

Phone: (719) 689-0303

History of Gambling in Colorado

Timeline Header Image

The first full U.S. casino opens. The Brown's Salon casino was opened on the land where Utah, Whyoming, and Colorado meet. Brown's was a popular gambling establishment for fur trappers who were common in that area. 169 years later, Colorado legalized their first casino.

1822
Colorado Slot Machine and Casinos

The law allowing casinos to be opened in Black Hawk, Cripple Creek, and Central City is passed. This law barely passes with over 41% of the Colorado population against it. Stakes are limited to a maximum of $5, and the only games allowed are poker, blackjack and slot machines. Even though almost half the state opposes this law, it brings a developmental boom to these three towns.

1991

The Attorney General of Colorado makes a statement about online gambling. He claims that online gambling can be covered by the existing laws and definition of gambling.

2005

The Colorado state lottery begins with scratch off cards. The state lottery game Powerball is introduced in 2001, and Mega Millions is introduced in 2009.

1983

Colorado signs two compacts, one with the Ute Mountain Tribe and the other with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. These compacts allow casinos on their reservation land. These casinos are free from taxation, but they're required to keep their betting limits and games offered in line with the state guidelines. Keno is added t othe list of allowed casino games.

1995
Colorado Bingo Laws and Regulations

The Bingo-Raffle Advisory Board is created to license non-profit organizations to run charity casinos, bingo, and raffle events to raise funds for their causes.

1999

Amendment 50 becomes a law. This amendment allows residents of Black Hawk, Cripple Creek, and Central City to vote on extending the operation of their casinos. The original curfew is set at 2 am.

2008

Additional Resources

Colorado Gambling Future

Colorado offers a variety of gambling to choose from. These include a handful of casino games, horse betting, online sports betting, social gambling, a state lottery and charitable bingo and raffle games.

While Colorado has relaxed gambling laws, they have gone out of their way to speak out about online gambling. Their gambling laws were not written originally for online gambling because it didn't exist then. They have yet to act on statements of online Colorado gambling sites being illegal, and no one is getting arrested for it.

Based on Colorado's track record of continuously approving more gambling options, we would say that state regulated online gambling is not far out. Colorado gambling sites aren't going anywhere. In fact, we're predicting they'll become more common.

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