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.
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
Based on this information, we would say that online gambling is illegal in
The thing is, the laws referenced above were not specifically written for
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
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
According to section 18-10-101 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, gambling is
“‘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
“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
“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
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
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.
26000 East Quincy Ave.
Aurora, CO 80016
Phone: (303) 690-2400
Colorado outlawed dog racing in 2014.
Here’s what section 12-60-604 of the Colorado Revised Statues says about
“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.”
Colorado has a state regulated lottery. Some of the games they provide are
Lucky for Life
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
Any for-profit organizations are prohibited from holding bingo or raffle
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 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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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