Gaming Laws in Colorado
The Colorado Limited Gaming Act of 1991 states that “the success of limited gaming is dependent upon public confidence and trust that licensed limited gaming is conducted honestly and competitively; that the rights of the creditors of licensees are protected; and that gaming is free from criminal and corruptive elements.” This is maintained through strict regulation and licensing of gaming establishments while protecting the patrons in Colorado.
The Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission was put in place to enforce the rules and regulations governing limited gaming within the state, including the gaming tax rate. The Commission resides in the Division of Gaming, which is part of the Department of Revenue that approves the budget and allocates money to other state departments
There are two Native American casinos in Colorado, the Sky Ute Casino and the Ute Mountain Hotel & Casino, both of which are owned and operated by the Ute Tribe of Colorado. The Sky Ute Casino offers slot machines, table games like blackjack, bingo and a poker room that has regular Omaha and Texas Hold’em tournaments. The Ute Mountain Hotel & Casino also has slots with TITO (ticket-in, ticket-out) technology, video poker plus live blackjack, poker, bingo and keno games.
Sports Betting in Colorado
Despite the presence of limited gaming and casinos, Colorado State Code 18-10-101 specifically prohibits any betting of money or property on the results of any game. Thus, sports betting in the state of Colorado is deemed illegal.
Even though there are no sportsbooks available at physical locations or online in the state of Colorado, bettors still have the opportunity to choose from many offshore options. Offshore sportsbooks are widely considered to be a much safer option than local bookmakers. In addition to having the convenience of placing bets right from a personal computer or mobile device and a variety of options, online bettors can trust reputable and well-reviewed offshore books to always offer lines and pay out, which may not always be the case for local bookies.
Poker and Casino in Colorado
In addition to tribal casinos, limited casinos are also available in the cities of Central, Black Hawk and Cripple Creek, which are three historic gold mining towns. There are 15 casinos combined in these three cities, including the Ameristar Casino & Hotel, the Isle of Capri Casino Hotel and the Lady Luck Tower. The Ameristar opened in Black Hawk back in 2001 with a luxury hotel and spa, and the casino features 1,500+ slot machines, a live blackjack pit with 14 tables, three live tables each for craps and roulette and an 18-table poker room.
There is currently no online gaming in the state of Colorado, including poker. In 2012, the Colorado Gaming Association did draft an online poker bill to regulate it modeled after a bill in New Jersey, but it has yet to be introduced to the legislature. Regardless, online games appeal to interested players who can still pursue offshore websites in order to participate.
Other Gaming Options in Colorado
Off-track betting on horses and dogs through parimutuel wagering, social and charitable gambling plus bingo and raffles regulated by the Secretary of State are all permitted.
The Colorado Lottery started in 1983 with a single scratch game and has grown to include much larger jackpot games such as Powerball, Mega Millions, Lotto and Cash 5. Profits from the lottery are used to improve and support parks, recreation, open space, conservation education and wildlife projects through partners like Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), the Conservation Trust Fund and Colorado Parks and Wildlife.