Legal online sports betting went live in Colorado in May 2020.
The state features not only an impressive number of sportsbooks but also local brands more native to the market. Colorado sports betting law granted each of the state’s 30-plus casinos the ability to offer online betting inside state lines via authorized sportsbooks. So far, the majority of them have taken the opportunity.
For Colorado sports bettors, the volume of options, bonuses, and promotions might be a bit overwhelming. Read on for a comprehensive look at sportsbook apps and legal betting in Colorado.
Best Colorado sports betting sites 2022
What’s happening in Colorado sports betting right now?
- Oct. 3, 2022 – The Colorado Buffaloes fired their head coach and defensive coordinator after the Buffaloes lost their fifth straight game and their fourth straight giving up 40 points or more.
- Sept. 24, 2022 – The blowouts keep coming for the Colorado Buffaloes, which fell to 0-4 after a 45-17 drubbing by UCLA.
- Sept. 1, 2022 – Sportsbooks in Colorado took $258.4 million in bets during July with $20.8 million in gross gaming revenue. Taxable revenue was $14.2 million which led to $1.1 million paid in taxes.
- Sept. 1, 2022 — European heavyweight Bet365 arrived in Colorado as planned, making it the 26th sportsbook app in the state after TheScore and TwinSpires shut down.
- August 22, 2022 – bet365 is still expected to launch around Sept. 1 according to its partner Century Casinos. The sportsbook does have a temporary license already, regulators confirmed to LSR.
- August 2, 2022 – Colorado sportsbooks reported $313.2 million in handle but just $6.8 million in revenue for a 2.2% hold in June. Operators only paid $268,280 in taxes for the month, the lowest since Sept. 2020.
- July 8, 2022 – The Colorado Avalanche‘s Stanley Cup run led to $127.3 million in handle on the NHL Playoffs, according to Colorado gaming regulators. That is nearly $100 million more than the state’s sportsbooks accepted from last May through July.
Comparing top Colorado sportsbooks
Deciding where to place a bet in Colorado is a subjective choice. Elements like a site’s navigation might bother some but not others. Here’s a brief look at where Colorado apps shine, plus mini-reviews of the top sites in the state.
- Best sportsbook for betting on the go: DraftKings, FanDuel. These apps are among the highest rated for sportsbooks on iOS (4.8) and Android (4.7). A 2021 independent study by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming notes that both apps consistently score high for their betting interfaces and key features.
- Best sportsbook for sports variety: BetMGM. BetMGM has more diverse options than almost any other sportsbook in Colorado. Alongside the standards like football and basketball, you can find betting options like Gaelic sports, handball and snooker.
- Best sportsbook for Colorado connections: PointsBet. PointsBet has more links to Colorado entities than any other sportsbook in the state. It has partnerships with the Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets and University of Colorado Buffaloes.
- Best sportsbook for navigation: FanDuel. FanDuel offers the smoothest navigation out of any active sportsbook. It is intuitively designed and incredibly quick to get you to where you want to go.
- Best sportsbook for new players: MaximBet. Although not a major sportsbook player yet, MaximBet has come through for new players and has $1,000 in site credits available.
1. DraftKings Sportsbook
DraftKings Sportsbook has one of the most innovative apps in Colorado sports betting. It features a betting carousel that presents wagering options based on your preferences and betting history. In one sense, no one has quite the same DraftKings experience. It could, however, stand to improve its bonuses for recurring players, but that’s a minor nitpick.
- App rating: 4.8 (iOS), 4.7 (Android)
- Key takeaway: An easy-to-use app that you can tailor itself to your preferences.
- Best feature: Betting carousel
- Bonus offer: $1,050
2. Caesars Sportsbook
Caesars has a deep list of available sports, too, and long experience in the space. Caesars players can also take part in the Caesars Rewards program, which provides redeemable points for rewards at Caesars locations. However, Caesars could stand to spiff up its app presentation and navigation a bit.
- App rating: 4.6 (iOS), 4.4 (Android)
- Key takeaway: A solid app with plenty of sports and experience.
- Best feature: Caesars Rewards
- Bonus offer: $1,250
3. BetMGM Sportsbook
BetMGM offers more sports to bet on than almost any other sportsbook app. Furthermore, the “edit my bet” function allows you to increase your wagers, change the teams on the bet, or even add legs to a parlay. The only issue is that BetMGM can be a bit unwieldy to navigate.
- App rating: 4.8 (iOS), 4.4 (Android)
- Key takeaway: More options for sports to bet on than almost any app.
- Best feature: Edit my bet
- Bonus offer: $1,000
4. BetRivers Sportsbook
BetRivers is the sportsbook brand for Rush Street Interactive, a casino company primarily focused in the northeastern United States. BetRivers players can take part in one of the only rewards programs specifically for sports bettors. BetRivers also trumpets players’ big wins in its main lobby. However, as you can see from its app ratings, it could stand to improve navigation and usability.
- App rating: 3.1 (iOS), 3.1 (Android)
- Key takeaway: A solid sportsbook with plenty of experience and options for Coloradans.
- Best feature: iRush Rewards
- Bonus offer: $500
5. Betfred Sportsbook
Betfred Sportsbook is expanding in the US after years of success in Europe. It offers a deep and multi-tiered rewards program that includes birthday bonuses and restaurant vouchers. Betfred also offers enhanced parlays — essentially odds boosts for parlay bets. Betfred still needs to smooth out some of its app’s bumpiness, however.
- App rating: 3.2 (iOS), 3.2 (Android)
- Key takeaway: A large roster of revolving promotions and options for players.
- Best feature: Loyalty program
- Bonus offer: Bet $50, Get $250
6. MaximBet Sportsbook
MaximBet is one of the smaller sportsbooks to operate in Colorado’s crowded sports betting market, but still competes with bigger operators. The app has a strong range of promotions. It is also quite visually appealing, with vibrant colors that explode off the screen. However, it is still a relatively new book and needs to work on the variety of sports and banking options it offers.
- App rating: 4.9 (iOS), n/a (Android)
- Key takeaway: A rookie in the sports betting world, but one that’s doing many things right.
- Best feature: Promos for new players
- Bonus offer: $1,000
7. FanDuel Sportsbook
FanDuel Sportsbook has risen to the top in many states because of the ease with which players can navigate its app. There are also plenty of betting options and promotions, including same-game parlays. FanDuel still has a few rough spots in the smaller corners of its app, but these are minor issues.
- App rating: 4.8 (iOS), 4.7 (Android)
- Key takeaway: Likely the smoothest app available to Colorado bettors.
- Best feature: Same-game parlays
- Bonus offer: $1,000
8. Sports Illustrated Sportsbook
The SI Sportsbook app debuted in September 2021. The sportsbook is a rebrand of venerable sportsbook 888 Sport and has a huge number of markets available for wagering. It also offers a tie-in for fans of the popular sports magazine. Its main drawback is its presentation, which is a bit too pedestrian at the moment.
- App rating: 3.7 (iOS), 3.6 (Android)
- Key takeaway: The rebrand of 888Sport has a tremendous number of markets and offers cross promotions with Sports Illustrated.
- Best feature: Market diversity, with numerous in-play options
- Bonus offer: Bet $10, Get $80 in Free Bets
9. Bet365 Sportsbook
Well-known European sports betting brand Bet365 arrived in Colorado in September 2022. With live in-game betting features, bet boosts and super boosts, and a personalized display, the app and sportsbook site offer users a unique experience. The betting markets are plentiful and the odds are competitive. The app itself gets favorable ratings from customer reviews, though occasional hiccups can happen when navigating between the betting sections.
- App rating: 4.6 (iOS), 2.7 (Android)
- Key takeaway: A strong brand with an easy-to-use app and competitive odds.
- Best feature: Personalized display
- Bonus offer: Bet $1, Get $200
New sports betting apps in Colorado
There are more than two dozen sportsbook apps active in Colorado right now. However, the state has quickly become one of the top locations for enterprising sportsbooks to find new revenue. Here are some apps that could soon be joining the crowd in the Centennial State:
- Bet365 (Century Casinos)
- Betsson Sportsbook (Dostal Alley Casino)
- BlueBet (TBA)
How to get started with best Colorado sportsbook bonuses
Getting started at a Colorado online sportsbook is pretty easy. Once you register for an account, you can make your first deposit and be off and running. The only thing to add is that you might have to provide additional documentation to withdraw funds. Be aware that verifying a joint bank account likely requires ID from everyone on the account.
With so many Colorado sportsbook apps available, competition is fierce. Apps offer bonuses and promotions to attract new players and keep them coming back. Here are some of the best welcome bonuses available to Colorado sports bettors at the moment:
- DraftKings Promo Code: $50 free bet plus 20% up to $1,000 on your first deposit
- Caesars Promo Code: 100% up to $1,250 as a free bet on deposit
- BetMGM Bonus Code: Risk-free first bet up to $1,000
- BetRivers Bonus Code: 2nd chance free bet up to $500
- Betfred Promo Code: Bet $50, Get $250 in free bets.
- MaximBet Promo Code: 100% deposit bonus up to $1,000
Just as a refresher, here’s how these bonuses work:
- Deposit bonuses: Sportsbooks will match all or a portion of your deposit. You may also see these appear as match bonuses.
- Free bets: Vouchers that allow a bet in a certain denomination. You generally cannot divide them, and if you win a bet with one, you receive only your winnings, not the value of the free bet.
- Risk-free bets: If you lose the qualifying bet, the book will provide a refund in free bets or site credits.
10 quick facts about Colorado sports betting
- Colorado legalized sports betting in November 2019.
- Legalization required voter approval via referendum due to Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
- Colorado sports betting launched in both online and retail formats in May 2020.
- All sportsbook apps must be partnered with casinos located in Colorado.
- You must be 21 or older to bet on sports in the state.
- Principal actors in sports — players, referees, coaches, etc. — cannot legally bet on their sports.
- You can bet on table tennis and cornhole, but not the Oscars or other awards events.
- Colorado does not permit esports betting, nor does it allow betting on high school sports or any event where the majority of participants are younger than 18.
- With the exception of sportsbooks at tribal casinos, all retail sportsbooks in Colorado are available in one of three towns — Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek.
- Colorado sportsbooks booked more than $5 billion in wagers in their first 18 months.
What to expect at a legal Colorado sports betting site
With so many legal sportsbooks in Colorado, there is no reason to visit illegal offshore sites. The sports betting industry is under the oversight of the Division of Gaming in the Colorado Department of Revenue — Specialized Business Group. The regulator keeps an updated list of every online sportsbook cleared to operate in the state.
Colorado online sportsbooks offer convenience, and regulators have standards in place that work to ensure safety, fairness and security. They are also safer than retail books on a broader level since they don’t require you to navigate the state’s (sometimes) icy and treacherous roads to bet at a retail sportsbook.
Latest Colorado betting news
Colorado sports betting law and regulations
The Colorado General Assembly approved statewide sports betting in May 2019, but the vote essentially moved the final decision to voters in November. A voter-approved constitutional amendment requires that any legislative vote to raise taxes go to the ballot for approval. HB 1327 was signed by Gov. Jared Polis, approved by voters and became law. It includes the following core tenets:
- The state licenses sportsbooks that partner with casinos in the state.
- Betting can take place both online and at physical sportsbooks.
- The state taxes Colorado sportsbooks at a rate of 10%.
Additionally, the law creates three types of licenses:
- Master license — reserved for the state’s 33 casinos
- Sports betting operator — land-based retail sportsbook operator
- Internet sports betting operator — one online skin per casino
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. An approved casino then could partner with a land-based sportsbook and an internet sportsbook (or use the same partner for both) and utilize one online platform.
Full list of legal Colorado sports betting apps
There are 26 legal sports betting apps active in Colorado as of 2022:
- Bally Bet
- Barstool Sportsbook
- Betfred Sports
- BetWildwood (ISI)
- Caesars Sports
- Circa Sports
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- Elite Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- FOX Bet
- Play Maverick Sports
- SI Sportsbook
- Sky Ute Sportsbook
- Tipico Sportsbook
Popular sports to bet on in Colorado
Colorado is similar to many states in that it has one large city that commands most of the sports action. All of the major sports teams that call the Centennial State home are based in and around Denver, and they are popular betting options in the state.
- NFL: Denver Broncos
- NBA: Denver Nuggets
- MLB: Colorado Rockies
- NHL: Colorado Avalanche
- MLS: Colorado Rapids
Aside from these big teams in Colorado, there are also major college teams. The Colorado Buffaloes football team is a top draw, as is the gridiron crew at Colorado State. Other options like motorsports, mixed martial arts and rugby are all available to bet on, as well. Table tennis became a popular sport to bet on during the height of the pandemic in 2020 and has remained a cornerstone of CO sportsbooks ever since.
Colorado sports betting history
Colorado sports betting history is relatively short, mostly because the state legalized the activity and went live within a year. In the first year of legal betting, Colorado saw 15 sports betting apps start taking wagers. Here is a timeline of how things have grown:
- 2019: Colorado begins its push to legalize sports betting at the behest of Rep. Alec Garnett, the House majority leader. Garnett produces a bill in 2019 that narrowly passes both chambers of the Colorado General Assembly on the last day of the session. Due to Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights, the question of sports betting then has to go before the voters before it can become law. Although the vote on Proposition DD is only 20,000 votes apart, the people of Colorado decide to allow the state’s casinos to offer online and retail sports betting.
- 2020: Colorado sports betting starts in earnest in May 2020. Both online and retail books open their doors for business, although the COVID-19 pandemic creates an extra set of challenges for in-person wagering. The online expansion continues unabated, however, and 15 online books launch by the end of the year.
- 2021: Sports betting continues to expand in its first full year of being legal in the state. The number of active sportsbooks nearly doubles. By the time 2022 rolls around, there are 26 sportsbooks doing business in Colorado, including one of the few truly tribal apps, Sky Ute. December 2021’s numbers push the total amount of legal wagering in the state over the $5 billion mark — a gobsmacking figure for roughly 20 months of activity.
Colorado sports betting FAQ
Can I legally bet on sports in Colorado?
Yes. As of May 2020, sports betting is legal in Colorado with all bets placed via authorized and regulated sportsbook apps and operators. The state officially legalized sports betting via a voter referendum in November 2019.
Where can I bet on sports in Colorado?
Of course, with online sports betting, you can wager from anywhere inside the state lines of Colorado. However, if you prefer to experience sports betting in-person, there are several retail sportsbook locations:
- Ameristar Casino Black Hawk
- BetWildwood (ISI)
- Billy’s Casino
- Colorado Grande
- Golden Mardi Gras Casino
- Grand Z Casino
- Isle of Capri Casino
- Johnny Nolon’s
- Johnny Z’s Casino
- Lady Luck Casino
- Monarch Casino Blackhawk
- Red Dolly Casino
- Saratoga Casino
- Sasquatch Casino
- The Lodge Casino at Black Hawk
- Wild Card Casino
- Z Casino
Is BetOnline legal in Colorado?
No. BetOnline is not a legal sportsbook in Colorado. Because it is based outside of the US, BetOnline does not comply with Colorado or US laws, restrictions or business regulations. With so many legal betting options in the Centennial State that are legal, they far outweigh the risk of betting overseas.
What is the minimum age to bet on sports in Colorado?
You need to be 21 or older to place a sports wager in Colorado, either online or in-person.
Do I have to be a resident of Colorado to bet on sports?
Not at all. The only requirements are that you are 21 or older and inside state lines. Be aware, however, that you will have to verify your location with your mobile device or computer before you will be able to wager.
Is horse betting legal in Colorado?
Yes. Colorado is home to a single facility that offers live horse racing. Bally’s Arapahoe Park in Aurora is both a thoroughbred racetrack and a simulcast facility. Live racing and betting are available during August, September and October each year. In addition, there are 10 standalone off-track betting locations scattered around the state. Finally, online horse betting sites like TVG can legally accept wagers from Coloradans.
Is DFS legal in Colorado?
Yes. Daily fantasy sports contests are legal in Colorado. The state legalized them in 2016. You can play on FanDuel, DraftKings or any other licensed DFS site in the state as long as you are 18 or older.
List of Colorado resources
If you want more details about sports betting and other gambling in Colorado, please see the links below. These agencies and businesses are the best resources for more in-depth information about the various subjects related to sports betting in the state.
- Colorado Department of Revenue, Specialized Business Group — Gaming Division — Gambling regulator.
- Colorado General Assembly — Lawmaking body in Colorado.
- Problem Gambling Coalition of Colorado — Top resource for responsible gambling in the state.
- The Denver Post — Primary Denver newspaper, covering pro sports, the Legislature and more.
- The Gazette — Primary Colorado Springs newspaper that covers local sports and the state Legislature.
- The Coloradoan — Primary Fort Collins newspaper that covers local sports.