Colorado Sports Betting

Colorado sports betting is legal and live for the start of NFL football.

While a number of sportsbooks launched their CO sports betting apps earlier, expect aggressive movement in the market over the coming months.

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Colorado voters approved legal sports betting throughout the Centennial State in November 2019.

Here is more of what you need to know about Colorado sports betting:

CO sports betting basics

State regulators made legal Colorado sports betting available May 1, 2020.

Just because regulators are ready, though, did not mean that’s when CO sports betting apps became available. Four launched on the first day and another handful joined over the following months.

The May 1 launch allowed the new CO sports betting market an opportunity to get up to speed before the coveted start of NFL football and NCAA football wagering in September.

Colorado sports betting approval

After the Colorado state legislature approved a sports betting bill in summer 2019, voters had their say on the matter in November. More than 1.3 million people voted and Colorado sports betting passed by about 20,000 votes.

Colorado law required the referendum because of a restriction on implementing new taxes known as a Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR.) Any measure that will increase taxes on Colorado residents must receive a popular vote.

Latest CO sports betting news

CO sportsbook apps

Apps are available throughout the state for betting on sports in Colorado. That means you can bet directly from your smartphone or tablet as long as you are physically located within Colorado. You do not need to be a state resident to bet on CO sportsbook apps.

The CO apps live today include:

These apps are next in line to launch Colorado sports betting:

  • Bet365
  • BetAmerica
  • Carousel Group
  • Digital Gaming Corporation
  • Internet Sports International
  • Penn Sports Interactive (likely to become Barstool Sportsbook)
  • PointsBet
  • SuperBook USA
  • Wynn Resorts

Your device will use geolocation technology to verify that you are within Colorado before allowing you to wager on any of these sportsbook apps.

SportsbookCasinoDeveloperMobileLaunch Date
BetfredSaratoga CasinoPlaytechYesTBD
PointsBetDouble Eagle CasinoPointsBetYesTBD
Wynn Sports / BetAmerica / SmarketsBronco Billy’s CasinoMiomniTBDTBD
FanDuel Golden Gates CasinoIGT/GANYesMay 1
DraftKingsGolden Gulch CasinoKambi/SB TechYesMay 1
FanDuel / DraftKingsGolden Mardi Gras Casino IGT/GAN, Kambi/SB TechYesTBD
SuperBookThe Lodge CasinoTBDYesTBD
Circa SportsCentury CasinosStadium TechnologyYesTBD
Bet365Century CasinosTBDYesTBD
William HillIsle CasinoWilliam HillYesTBD
William HillLady Luck CasinoWilliam HillYesTBD
ISI Race &
Sports
Wildwood CasinoAmelcoYesTBD
BetMonarchMonarch CasinoStadium TechnologyYesMay 11
TBDThe Brass Ass CasinoTBDTBDTBD
BetRiversJP McGill’s CasinoRush Street InteractiveYesMay 1
TBDDostal Alley SaloonTBDTBDTBD
BetMGM SportsbookMidnight Rose CasinoROAR DigitalYesMay 1
Barstool BetsAmeristar CasinoTBDTBDTBD
TBDBull Durham CasinoTBDTBDTBD
TBDRed Dolly CasinoTBDTBDTBD
TBDZ CasinoTBDTBDTBD
Wynn Sports / BetAmerica / SmarketsBronco Billy’s Christmas CasinoTBDTBDTBD
TBDEasy Street CasinoTBDTBDTBD
TBDSasquatch CasinoTBDTBDTBD
TBDThe Gilpin CasinoTBDTBDTBD
TBDThe Famous Bonanza CasinoTBDTBDTBD
TBDThe Wild Card SaloonTBDTBDTBD
TBDGrand Z Casino HotelTBDTBDTBD
TBDColorado Grande CasinoTBDTBDTBD
TBDJohnny Z’s CasinoTBDTBDTBD
TBDJohnny Nolon’s CasinoTBDTBDTBD

What’s in the CO sports betting law?

Here are some of the other details. The bill 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. The cost of that two-year license remains to be determined.

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 would be banned under current law and regulation.

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, and many more sportsbooks could be on the way through the rest of 2020.

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 will add retail sportsbooks. Those likely will wait until summer as the coronavirus pandemic forces casino closures.

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.

Betting on pro sports 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 NFL wagering 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Colorado Rapids will celebrate their 25th anniversary in 2020. The team plays in suburban Denver and became league champions in 2010.

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:

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.

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.

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