Last updated: December 1, 2021
Colorado online sports betting is live. No other state has more active online sportsbooks than Colorado. Each of the state’s nearly three dozen casinos is eligible to open sports betting operations to the public. As a result, new sportsbook apps continue to join the market on an almost monthly basis. Most recently, Sports Illustrated Sportsbook debuted in September 2021. Colorado now hosts more than two dozen sportsbook apps.
Colorado sportsbook apps feature welcome bonuses, odds boosts, and promotions. While NFL betting is the high point of the year for any legal sports betting state, Colorado sports bettors also like betting on niche sports such as table tennis.
While the state has not topped New Jersey in handle, it is a powerhouse based on the number of sites and the relative speed with which it has approved and launched apps since May 2020. Here is the latest on what you can expect for legal sports betting in Colorado.
Top Colorado sportsbooks
What’s happening in Colorado sports betting right now
- November 30, 2021 — A fifth Sunday in October allowed Colorado sports betting to hit a record handle for a second-straight month. Sportsbooks took $491.5 million in bets during the month. That beat September’s record of $408.3 million.
- Oct. 29, 2021 — The NFL season makes all the difference for the bottom line at most sportsbooks, and the ones in Colorado are no exception. Monthly handle pushed over the $400 million mark for the first time in Colorado history in September 2021, thanks to the gridiron game’s return. The activity resulted in just under $22.7 million in gross revenue for the sportsbooks and $483,000 in taxes for the state. Only one out of every 100 sports bets in Colorado is placed in person – the rest of the action occurs online.
- Sept. 28, 2021 — The gaming commission’s report for August 2021 reveals that interest in sports betting in Colorado is swelling once again. Although August’s $211.9 million in wagers is nowhere near the record, it is a jump of more than $30 million from the Centennial State’s rather slow July.
- Sept. 14, 2021 — A webinar organized by geolocation verification software provider GeoComply reveals a growing concern from regulators and lawmakers about the quantity and direction of sportsbook advertising. Top regulators from both New Jersey and Colorado have expressed dismay over the prevalence of the ads throughout their states.
- Sept. 7, 2021 – Sports Illustrated Sportsbook opens its virtual doors for business in Colorado. The launch is the first in the company’s history and comes just in time to book bets on the first NFL games of the 2021 season. SI Sportsbook comes to Colorado as an online-only operator – it does not have any retail presence in the Centennial State at this time, although it does have a Colorado partnership with the Colorado Grande Casino. Sports Illustrated Sportsbook is a development from the sports magazine’s partnership with venerable sportsbook operator 888 Sport.
- July 27, 2021 — Colorado sports bettors placed 7.7% fewer wagers during June 2021 than they did in May 2021, but sportsbooks in the Centennial State are not fretting. While handle decreased, revenues increased dramatically by more than 30% during the same time period, from $15.1 million to $19.7 million.
Colorado sports betting apps
People in Colorado certainly are not lacking for options when it comes to legal sports betting apps. Sports betting went live in the state on May 1, 2020. Several sportsbooks were ready to go on launch date, and many more have followed since. Here’s a look at the current list of options and what they all bring to the table.
Bally Bet Sportsbook
- Launch date: May 2021
- Partner: Golden Gates, Golden Gulch, Mardi Gras
In November 2020, Twin River Worldwide Holdings officially changed its name to Bally’s following a successful acquisition of the iconic brand name from Caesars. Bally’s has big plans for US sports betting. The sportsbook made its debut in Colorado in May 2021 off of the licenses of three in-state casinos which fall under its corporate umbrella.
- Launch date: August 2021
- Partner: Ameristar Casino
In January 2020, Penn National Gaming purchased a 36% stake in Barstool Sports, a popular digital media entity. Barstool Sportsbook has since made its online and mobile debut in nine legal states. It launched in Colorado in August 2021 via a deal with Ameristar Casino in Black Hawk, which is also home to a retail book bearing the Barstool brand name.
- Betfred Sports CO Launch date: Sept. 10, 2020
- Partner: Saratoga Casino
Betfred Sports began in the UK in 1967. The company expanded to the US in 2019 and was able to launch in Colorado on opening day of NFL season in 2020. Betfred has a retail book at the Saratoga Black Hawk Casino and has also made headlines with promotional deals with local pro teams.
- BetMGM Colorado Launch date: May 1, 2020
- Partner: Midnight Rose Casino
The BetMGM app was one of the first in Colorado. The sportsbook is the product of a joint venture between MGM Resorts International and Entain plc. BetMGM has been establishing a strong footprint in a number of legal states, and it has been no different in Colorado. Top features include a dedicated section for live betting and a range of niche sports.
- Launch date: May 11, 2020
- Partner: Monarch Casino
Monarch Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk has taken a different path toward mobile sports betting. While many brick-and-mortar casinos partner with outside vendors, this one has built its own product. Developed by Miomni Gaming, the layout is clean and users can accrue rewards points while wagering.
- Launch date: May 1, 2020
- Partner: JP McGill’s Casino
A member of the Rush Street Interactive family, BetRivers continues to grow in reach. One of the first to launch in Colorado and partnered with JP McGill’s, the app has found success in a number of markets. A solid rewards program, ongoing promotional opportunities and an overall slick package are among the features that have helped BetRivers stand out.
- Launch date: April 2021
- Partner: Famous Bonanza Casino
Betway is a big player on the online global gaming scene that’s looking to make headway in the US sports betting market. The Malta-based company is a member of the Super Group family. Now available in four states to date, Betway Sportsbook launched in Colorado in April 2021 via a deal with its land-based partner, the Famous Bonanza Casino in Central City.
- Launch date: July 21, 2020
- Partner: Wildwood Casino
Wildwood Casino in Cripple Creek has also gone the route of developing its own app. Visitors can check out Woody’s Sportsbook and also use the BetWildwood app on the go. The site layout is clean and easy to navigate, with a deep menu of sports available for wagering.
- Launch date: July 1, 2020
- Partner: Century Casinos
This is the mobile offering from Circa Resort & Casino, a popular destination in downtown Las Vegas. The launch of the Circa Sports app in Colorado was the company’s first foray with a sports betting app outside Nevada. The app was developed in conjunction with International Gaming Technology. Circa aims to prioritize betting value to stand out in the crowded market.
- DraftKings Colorado Launch date: May 1, 2020
- Partner: Mardi Gras Casino
As has been the case in a number of legal markets, DraftKings is off to a strong start in the state. The app’s top features include its approach to live betting, a wide range of prop bets, and the overall smoothness of the mobile betting experience.
- Launch date: Aug. 12, 2020
- Partner: Red Dolly Casino
Elite Sportsbook launched its site in Iowa in August 2019. About a year later, it came to Colorado via a deal with Red Dolly Casino. An app is available for iOS while the site is optimized to work on Android browsers. In-house features include “progressive parlays” with insurance. Funding options are limited to Play+ or cash at the casino cage for the time being.
- FanDuel Colorado Launch date: May 1, 2020
- Partner: Golden Gates Casino
As a market leader in a number of legal states, FanDuel is hitting a lot of the right notes. The app receives high marks for both appearance and functionality. FanDuel has all of the markets and bets most are looking for, a range of funding options and popular features like same -game parlays.
- Launch date: May 19, 2020
- Partner: Lady Luck Casino
This sportsbook launched as the result of a joint effort between The Stars Group and media giant FOX. The app is heavily advertised on FOX Sports programming, but it brings much more to the table than just a recognizable brand name. Users will find regular promotions involving network personalities, as well as a clean layout that’s easy to navigate.
- MaximBet Colorado Launch date: Sept. 16, 2020
- Partner: Johnny Nolan’s Casino
Carousel Group joined forces with Maxim to produce the new MaximBet Sportsbook. Colorado is the first state in which it is available, but the company has designs on launching in more soon. Available on iOS for now, the site is also optimized to work on Android and features a clean layout and solid selection of markets and bets.
- Launch date: March 16, 2021
- Partner: Maverick Gaming
Maverick Gaming is the operator of three casinos in Colorado: Grand Z, Johnny Z’s and Z Casino. The company is handling sports betting operations on its own and developed an app with International Gaming Technology. Users will find a clean layout and a basic menu of sports available for wagering.
- Launch date: March 2021
- Partner: Bull Durham Casino
Australia-based PlayUp operates in New Zealand and India in addition to its home country. The company is now part of the US sports betting landscape with the launch of its sportsbook in Colorado in March 2021. PlayUp has a Colorado market access agreement with the Bull Durham Casino in Black Hawk.
- Launch date: Nov. 18, 2020
- Partner: Double Eagle Casino
Australia-based PointsBet launched in the US in January 2019 and later moved its US headquarters to Denver. New Jersey was its first point of entry. The company has since expanded to other states and increased its reach with high-profile promotional deals. PointsBet introduced a new way to wager as well. Known as PointsBetting, it places more control over risk-reward in your hands.
- Launch date: June 4, 2020
- Partner: Bronco Billy’s Casino
SBK Sportsbook made its US debut in Colorado in June 2020. The parent company is UK-based Smarkets, which aims to prioritize the social aspect of gambling. The interface is clean, with an onsite leaderboard to track results.
- Launch date: June 9, 2020
- Partner: Sky Ute Casino Resort
Sky Ute Casino Resort is located in the southwestern area of Colorado. A tribal casino, the company tends to do a lot of things in-house, and it partnered with USBookmaking for its sportsbook app. Features include a loyalty program and “half-point” purchase promos on select games.
Sports Illustrated Sportsbook
- Launch date: September 2021
- Partner: Colorado Grande Casino
Authentic Brands Group, the parent company of Sports Illustrated, announced a deal with 888 sport in the summer of 2021. The goal was to launch sportsbooks bearing the venerable SI brand name. The first point of entry was in Colorado off of a deal with Colorado Grande Casino in Cripple Creek in September 2021.
- Launch date: Jan. 7, 2021
- Partner: The Lodge Casino
The world-famous Las Vegas-based SuperBook has finally spread its wings. The company announced plans for retail and mobile betting in Colorado in 2020, but it took some time to get things sorted out. Now, though, the company has big plans for the market, including making its popular NFL SuperContest available in the state if possible.
- Launch date: August 2021
- Partner: Century Casinos
Tipico is a global gaming entity with a big presence in a number of international markets. The company first entered the US sports betting market with a successful launch in NJ. Tipico has since expanded to Colorado, making its debut in August 2021 via a licensing deal with Century Casinos, operator of a pair of properties in Central City and Cripple Creek.
- Launch date: Sept. 2, 2020
- Partner: The Gilpin Casino
Canada-based media company theScore has developed a sports betting platform in conjunction with Bet.Works. Its goal is to incorporate its news offerings and wagering in a seamless environment. The company enters Colorado via a deal with The Gilpin Casino and brings to the table a clean and intuitive mobile wagering experience.
- Caesars Sportsbook Colorado Launch date: August 2021
- Partners: Lady Luck Casino and Isle Casino
Caesars Sportsbook has been steadily expanding its presence across the US. The company launched in Colorado in September 2020 under the William Hill brand before rebranding to Caesars a year later. It also has a retail foothold in the state. There’s a ton of experience behind the scenes at Caesars, and it shows in an efficient platform that lets you get down to business quickly.
- Launch date: Nov. 26, 2020
- Partner: Bronco Billy’s Casino
Colorado is one of five states in which WynnBET has launched to date, and it has plans for more markets in the future. The sportsbook is part of the online gambling division of Wynn Resorts, an operator of high-end casinos in various locales. The app itself is slick and easy to use.
Latest CO sports betting news
Colorado sports betting law
Basics for the Colorado sports betting law:
- The state licenses sports betting operators who partner with casinos in the state
- Betting can take place both via online apps and physical sportsbooks
- Bettors must be located in the state and 21 years old to bet
Here are some of the other details. The law creates three types of licenses:
- Master license
- Sports betting operator
- Internet sports betting operator
Each of Colorado’s 33 casinos can apply for a master license. There is a $10,000 initial nonrefundable fee, followed by a two-year $125,000 licensing fee, as per the Colorado Gaming Division sports betting rules.
An approved casino then could partner with a land-based operator and an internet operator (or use the same partner for both) and utilize one online/mobile platform. A 10% tax rate creates an industry-friendly climate for CO sports betting. Both esports and high school sports betting are banned under current law and regulation.
There are a variety of sports betting sites already available for anyone wanting to bet in Colorado. Some are run by large companies with a presence in multiple states, while others are tied to a local casino and exist only in Colorado. Here is a look at what we currently know about CO sports betting sites that are both live and on their way in the state, including the relationships between casinos and sportsbooks:
|Bally Bet||Bally's Black Hawk||May 2021|
|Barstool Sportsbook||Ameristar Black Hawk||August 2021|
|Betfred Sports||Saratoga Casino||September 2020|
|BetMGM||Midnight Rose Casino||May 2020|
|BetMonarch||Monarch Casino||May 2020|
|BetRivers||JP McGill's Casino||May 2020|
|Betsson Sportsbook||Dostal Alley Casino||Pending|
|Betway||Famous Bonanza Casino||April 2021|
|BetWildwood (ISI)||Wildwood Casino||July 2020|
|Caesars Sports||Isle Black Hawk||August 2021|
|Circa Sports||Century Casinos||July 2020|
|DraftKings Sportsbook||Bally's Black Hawk||May 2020|
|Elite Sportsbook||Red Dolly Casino||August 2020|
|FanDuel Sportsbook||Bally's Black Hawk||May 2020|
|FOX Bet||Lady Luck Casino||May 2020|
|MaximBet||Johnny Nolon's Casino||September 2020|
|Play Maverick Sports||Maverick Gaming||March 2021|
|PlayUp||Bull Durham Casino||March 2021|
|PointsBet||Double Eagle Casino||November 2020|
|SBK||Bronco Billy's Christmas Casino||June 2020|
|SI Sportsbook||Colorado Grande Casino||September 2021|
|Sky Ute Sportsbook||Sky Ute Casino||June 2020|
|SuperBook||The Lodge||January 2021|
|theScore Bet||The Gilpin Casino||September 2020|
|Tipico Sportsbook||Century Casinos||August 2021|
|TwinSpires Sportsbook||Bronco Billy's Casino||April 2021|
|WynnBET||Bronco Billy's Casino||September 2021|
Sports betting deals in Colorado
The legal Colorado sports betting market has been extremely competitive. The state attracted a number of the industry’s top sportsbooks, and several of its physical casinos house retail sportsbooks, or betting kiosks at the very least.
Standing out in a crowded market is a tall task for books. Bonuses and promotional offers help them make headway, as do extensive advertising and marketing. To capture additional attention, some sportsbooks take the step of partnering with local teams. The major pro teams in the state have all signed deals, and the trend has even crept over to the college side. Here’s a look at the promotional deals to date and some of the key highlights.
- FanDuel/ Denver Broncos: FanDuel gains access to Broncos logos and marks for marketing purposes.
- Betfred/Broncos: Betfred gets rights to operate a sports betting lounge at Empower Field at Mile High.
- BetMGM/Broncos: BetMGM can also operate a lounge at the stadium and offer a free-to-play game for fans.
- PointsBet/Denver Nuggets: Branding throughout the Pepsi Center, and PointsBet was named official betting partner of team owner Kroenke Sports & Entertainment.
- DraftKings/Colorado Rockies: Rights to Rockies logos and marks as well as in-stadium branding rights at Coors Field.
- Betfred/Rockies: Access to various digital and stadium assets as well as game day experiences for fans.
- PointsBet/Colorado Avalanche: Part of the broader deal with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, similar to how it is with the Nuggets.
- PointsBet/University of Colorado: Advertising rights in the stadium and on team radio broadcasts.
The deal with the University of Colorado raised some eyebrows, but partnerships between sports betting entities and pro teams have become commonplace in legal states. Looking ahead, it will be interesting to see what else develops on the promotional front in this highly competitive market.
How to start betting in Colorado
Here are the basic steps to get started if you want to bet with legal sports betting apps in Colorado
- Download an app (or apps) that you want to use for wagering
- Sign up for an account via the app
- Fund your account via a deposit
Once you have completed these steps, anyone who is 21 years of age and older can start betting. You must be located in Colorado to bet; your wagers will be declined if you are not physically within the state’s borders.
Banking options at Colorado sportsbooks
There are a number of ways to deposit and withdraw for Colorado online sports betting. The options vary based on which sportsbook you are using, but here are the top-level options:
- Online banking and bank transfers
- Credit cards
- Debit cards (bank or prepaid cards)
- PayNearMe (available at cashiers of 7-Eleven and other retail stores)
- Cash at the casino cage
Information on sportsbook bonuses in Colorado
With the advent of legal online sports betting in Colorado, there’s been a rush to acquire customers from most sportsbooks. The early years of legal betting in any state are a key time for anyone running a sportsbook, and many of them offer attractive bonuses as they fight for marketshare in any given state.
DraftKings and FanDuel, the two leaders in the nascent US sports betting, have generally been the most aggressive on this front. Here are some of the typical bonus types sportsbooks offer in an attempt to attract a new user:
- No deposit bonus: Sportsbooks will sometimes offer free money to bet with, with no deposit required. These amounts are normally pretty small and are subject to playthrough requirements if you win with the free money before it can be withdrawn.
- Risk free bets: These are bets that a user receives upon a first deposit. You can make a bet with a “risk free bet” and if you win, you just win the bet (and you don’t get the actual wager back, just the profit. If you lose the bet, you get site credit equal to the amount of the risk free bet
- Deposit match bonus: This traditional type of bonus gives users money to bet with. The bonus is subject to playthrough requirements
While a lot of sports wagering takes place before games start, the spread of online betting in Colorado and elsewhere has made betting during a competition possible and more prevalent.
Sportsbooks apps offer live odds on many sports, including spreads, moneylines, and sometimes even prop bets on events that take place during a game.
What’s available for live betting depends a lot on the sportsbook you use, and which game or sport you are looking at.
Colorado sportsbooks at casinos
Outside of a pair of tribal casinos in Ignacio and Towaoc, brick-and-mortar establishments in Colorado are clustered in the state’s three legal gambling cities: Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek.
Many of the venues have received the relevant licenses and opened retail sportsbooks on-site. Here’s a look at where you can bet in-person in Colorado and what you need to know about each shop.
Barstool Sportsbook at Ameristar Black Hawk
- Address: 111 Richman St., Black Hawk
- Telephone: 720-946-4000
- Hours: Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday to Sunday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The Barstool Sportsbook at Ameristar is on the second floor of the casino. Visitors will find a 24-foot video wall, 13 betting kiosks, 29 HDTVs and drink specials. Sportsbook kiosks are open 24 hours daily and are also available in Bar 8042.
Betfred Sportsbook at Saratoga Casino
- Address: 101 Main St., Black Hawk
- Telephone: 303-582-6100
- Hours: Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday to Sunday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
UK-based Betfred is the operator of a 1,400-square-foot sportsbook at the Saratoga Casino in Black Hawk. There are multiple betting windows and self-serve kiosks, an LED video wall and HDTVs, and several seating options in the lounge area with food and beverage choices nearby.
BetRivers Sportsbook at McGill’s Hotel and Casino
- Address: 232 Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek
- Telephone: 719-689-2446
- Hours: Open 24 hours
BetRivers takes care of sportsbook operations for McGill’s, which is part of the Triple Crowns Casinos family along with Brass Ass Casino and Midnight Rose Casino. Pint and Platter provides food and beverages during regular hours.
Colorado Grande Casino
- Address: 300 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek
- Telephone: 719-689-3517
- Hours: Open 24 hours
The only options for sports betting at Colorado Grande are self-serve kiosks, but the venue has inked an access deal with 888 Sport, which has plans to launch in the state.
DraftKings Sportsbook at Mardi Gras Casino Black Hawk
- Address: 300 Main St., Black Hawk
- Telephone: 303-582-5600
- Hours: Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The DraftKings Sportsbook at Mardi Gras features a huge video wall, eight sports betting kiosks and two OTB terminals, and a full-service cashier. There’s also a full kitchen and bar and another 11 big-screen HDTVs.
Elite Sportsbook at Red Dolly Casino
- Address: 530 Gregory St., Black Hawk
- Telephone: 303-582-1100
- Hours: Open daily from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Elite Sportsbook is the operator in charge at Red Dolly Casino in Black Hawk. Betting kiosks are available across the property. The Elite Sportsbook app and website have also launched in Colorado, and there are plenty of other gambling options at the casino.
Johnny Nolon’s Casino
- Address: 301 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek
- Telephone: 719-689-2080
- Hours: Open 24 hours
ISI Race & Sports has retail self-serve betting kiosks at Johnny Nolon’s. The casino’s online and mobile partner is Carousel Group, the parent company of MaximBet Sportsbook.
Maverick Sports at Grand Z Casino
- Address: 321 Gregory St., Central City
- Telephone: 303-582-0800
- Hours: Open 24 hours
Maverick operates a trio of casinos in Colorado: Grand Z and Johnny Z’s in Central City, and Z Casino in Black Hawk. Visitors can find self-service PlaySports betting kiosks at all three properties and a book at the Grand Z.
- Address: 125 Gregory St., Black Hawk
- Telephone: 720-880-1616
- Hours: Open daily from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.
You’ll find self-serve betting kiosks from IGT at Sasquatch Casino, along with food and beverage options, casino gambling and an arcade area for kids.
Sportsbook at Monarch Casino Black Hawk
- Address: 488 Main St., Black Hawk
- Telephone: 303-582-1000
- Hours: Open 24 hours
Round-the-clock kiosk service is available at Monarch Casino Black Hawk. While construction continues on a permanent book, sports betting at the venue is temporarily located on the second floor by the Monarch Rewards desk.
TwinSpires Sportsbook at Bronco Billy’s
- Address: 233 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek
- Telephone: 719-689-2142
- Hours: Open 24 hours
TwinSpires handles the operations at Bronco Billy’s in Cripple Creek. It’s only on-site kiosks at the property, which also features the usual array of gambling, dining and hotel accommodations.
Caesars Sportsbook at Isle Casino Blackhawk
- Address: 401 Main St., Black Hawk
- Telephone: 800-843-4753
- Hours: Open 24 hours
Caesars’s sportsbook at Isle Casino consists only of betting kiosks for now, but the website notes to check back for updates. The Caesars app and website are also available for bettors in Colorado.
Caesars Sportsbook at Lady Luck Casino
- Address: 340 Main St., Black Hawk
- Telephone: 303-998-7777
- Hours: Open 24 hours
Caesars also handles the operations at Lady Luck Casino in Black Hawk, but it’s the same story as over at Isle Casino. There are betting kiosks onsite with a note on the website to check back for updates.
Wild Card Saloon
- Address: 120 Main St., Black Hawk
- Telephone: 303-582-3412
- Hours: Open daily from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Wild Card and Sasquatch are under the same ownership, a local family business known as Ed and Shirley Inc. It’s a similar setup, with IGT self-serve betting kiosks.
Woody’s Sportsbook at Wildwood Casino
- Address: 119 N Fifth St., Cripple Creek
- Telephone: 719-244-9700
- Hours: Kiosks open 24 hours; sportsbook services from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Kiosk service is available round the clock, while Woody’s Sportsbook is available from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. There’s a huge video wall, a full bar with food options, and plenty of room to kick back and watch the action.
Most popular sports to bet on in Colorado
The four major professional sports along with college football account for the bulk of wagers at legal US sportsbooks. Here’s what betting on those four leagues could look like once sports betting in Colorado gets started:
NFL betting in Colorado
Expect legal NFL betting to become the king of sports betting in Colorado quickly. Professional football by far is America’s favorite sport on which to wager of course, spanning the preseason in August to the Super Bowl the following February.
MLB betting in Colorado
Betting on baseball should prove to be a steady source of handle at Colorado sportsbooks. The MLB season stretches from Spring Training in March through the World Series in October or November.
NBA betting in Colorado
Betting on the NBA continues to gain traction steadily in the United States. While March Madness rules basketball betting in terms of events, wagering on professional basketball (especially in-play betting) is growing.
College football and college basketball betting
Betting on college sports, like in most states, is big business. The University of Colorado is the most popular, as its football and basketball teams are popular statewide.
NHL betting in Colorado
Perhaps no state in the country presents a better opportunity for NHL betting than Colorado. Hockey is big business in the Centennial State at both the professional and collegiate levels.
MLS betting in Colorado
Betting on US professional soccer leagues remains a small market relative to other pro sports. Wagering on international soccer draws more handle than does Major League Soccer.
Betting on Colorado pro sports teams
Colorado is home to a number of pro sports franchises, here are the most recognizable ones:
- The Denver Broncos enjoy one of the most passionate fan bases in the NFL and regularly sell out home games. The Broncos will be one of the more popular wagers in the Colorado sports betting market from the jump.
- The Denver Nuggets have been one of the steadiest NBA franchises of the past decade. The team consistently posts winning records in the NBA’s Western Conference, including strong performances at home at the Pepsi Center.
- The NHL’s Colorado Avalanche are an up-and-coming team with many young stars. The Avalanche play in front of one of the league’s most loyal fan bases and should drive wagering on pro hockey.
- The Colorado Rockies are Denver’s professional baseball team. The team qualified for the World Series in 2007 but has struggled to find success in more recent years. The team plays its home games at Coors Field in downtown Denver.
- The Colorado Rapids of the MLS will celebrate their 25th anniversary in 2020. The team plays in suburban Denver and became league champions in 2010.
Colorado sports betting revenue
Colorado is already one of the biggest sports betting markets in the country, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in wagers each month.
The market should reach in excess of $6 billion in wagers annually, a number that could go up depending on how the industry develops.
More on Colorado betting revenue here.
CO sports betting history
How did sports betting come to the Centennial State? Here’s a look back at the timeline leading to the start:
2021: Upwards and onwards
The Colorado sports betting market continues to grow at an incredible rate through 2021. By September, 26 different sportsbook apps have launched their offerings in the state. Colorado’s place in American sports betting is such that some sportsbook apps, such as Sports Illustrated, chose the Centennial State as their inaugural launch location.
Although the industry went through the summer swoon typical of sports betting around the US, it quickly rebounded with the return of football in 2021. Sportsbooks in Colorado celebrated a milestone in September 2021 when handle for the month exceeded $400 million for the first time in the state’s history. Based upon the wagering activity to date in Colorado, it is the fifth-largest state for sports betting in the US, trailing only New Jersey, Nevada, Illinois, and (oddly) Indiana.
2020: Colorado finally launches
Legal sports betting finally launched in Colorado on May 1 despite most major leagues being shut down at the time because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Colorado sports betting market took off quickly, thanks in large part to the industry-friendly climate that created a competitive environment among multiple sportsbooks. Pro teams quickly signed deals with sports betting operators in Colorado to help attract new fans and engage current ones.
2019: The two-step path to legal sports betting
Legalizing sports betting in Colorado was never going to be a simple task.
While state voters historically take a progressive attitude toward social issues including marijuana and same-sex marriage, the same cannot be said for gambling. Casino gaming began in 1991 and is limited to three small towns in the Rockies.
The state also has a restrictive Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) on the books. This requires that any law raising taxes must go before voters after being approved by the state legislature.
Colorado’s state legislature pushed the envelope on timing in 2019. The measure pushed by Rep. Alec Garnett did not receive final approval from both chambers of the legislature until the final day of the session.
Step two in Colorado
Clearing the legislature was only half the battle in Colorado. A ballot measure then needed to be drafted, and TABOR required this clunky language that made CO sports betting look like a tax hike:
SHALL STATE TAXES BE INCREASED BY TWENTY-NINE MILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY TO FUND STATE WATER PROJECTS AND COMMITMENTS AND TO PAY FOR THE REGULATION OF SPORTS BETTING THROUGH LICENSED CASINOS BY AUTHORIZING A TAX ON SPORTS BETTING OF TEN PERCENT OF NET SPORTS BETTING PROCEEDS, AND TO IMPOSE THE TAX ON PERSONS LICENSED TO CONDUCT SPORTS BETTING OPERATIONS?
The measure ultimately passed in November 2019 with a slim margin of more than 20,000 votes. With passage secured, Colorado regulators were able to craft rules and regulations to govern how sports betting in CO would operate.
Colorado sports betting FAQ
Is sports betting legal in Colorado?
Yes, Colorado sports betting is legal as of May 1, 2020.
That launch met the target date set by Colorado regulators months ago. It is also the first date that operators were allowed to launch their CO sports betting apps, provided they have received approval from the state to do so. That does not mean all Colorado sportsbooks opened in May. That is only the initial date state regulators made it possible for operators to launch their products. Many more sportsbooks are on the way through the rest of 2021.
Who oversees CO sports betting?
The Colorado Division of Gaming has oversight over sports wagering. This division of the state government also is in charge of implementing regulations to govern day-to-day activities of sports betting in Colorado. The state’s gaming commission approved final rules governing sports betting in Colorado in the months before the May launch.
Where can I bet on sports in Colorado?
Placing a bet is legal anywhere within the state’s borders. If you are not located in Colorado while using a sportsbook app, you cannot place a wager, even if you are a Colorado resident.
Your phone or device must be able to verify where you are located when attempting to place a bet in Colorado. That will take place using the same type of geolocation technology used by navigation apps such as Waze and Google Maps. There also are three Rocky Mountain towns where Colorado casinos are legal that have added retail sportsbooks since 2020.
Is mobile sports betting in Colorado available?
Yes. Sports betting in Colorado is possible via your phone or tablet. CO sportsbook apps quickly became the most popular way to bet on sports in Colorado, driven in part by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. There also will be retail sportsbooks in the mountain towns of Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek, in addition to statewide access via mobile apps.
Who can apply for a sports betting license?
Any of the state’s 33 casinos can attempt to get a license through state regulators. Each can partner with one online/mobile brand.
This means popular sports betting apps such as DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook are available in Colorado. Recognized brands from throughout the country plan to take part in CO sports betting.
Who can bet on sports in Colorado?
The legal sports gambling age in Colorado is 21 years old.
As is the case in other states, people will close affiliations to sports teams (players, coaches, trainers, team officials, etc.) will be restricted from betting. This is because these people potentially have information about or the ability to influence the outcome of a game.