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Gambling Laws of Colorado Current Legal Status of Gambling

Colorado's gambling landscape embraces diverse options but operates within strict legal confines. Land-based gambling thrives in three towns—Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek—with 40 casinos offering slots, poker, and select table games under a $100 bet limit. Online gambling expanded in 2020, allowing sports betting and DFS. However, online casinos and poker remain unregulated. The state lottery, active since 1982, features draws and scratch-offs but lacks online sales. Parimutuel betting on racing is limited to one track, Arapahoe Park, while charitable gaming permits bingo and raffles. This comprehensive article provides essential insights into Colorado's gambling landscape and its corresponding laws. Our panel of experts covers all crucial aspects, ensuring a thorough understanding of gambling regulations in the state.

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Overview of Online Gambling in Colorado

law iconOnline gambling in Colorado has seen significant developments in recent years, particularly with the legalization of certain forms of online betting. As of May 2020, the state took a progressive step by permitting online sports betting, allowing residents and visitors to engage in betting activities through licensed mobile apps such as DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Bet365. This move was a result of a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2019, reflecting a shift in the state's stance towards modernizing its gambling landscape.

However, it's important to note that while sports betting and Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) contests are legal and accessible online, Colorado currently lacks licensed and regulated online casino games or poker sites within its borders. Despite this absence of local online casino regulation, residents are not restricted from participating in offshore online casino and poker platforms that accept Colorado players.

The state's permissive approach toward online gambling extends to its lack of active prosecution or prohibition of residents gambling on offshore sites from the comfort of their homes. This absence of specific laws addressing offshore online gambling has led to a situation where Colorado residents continue to access these offshore platforms freely.

While online sports betting has thrived with various licensed mobile platforms, the absence of a regulated online casino and poker framework means that residents can only engage in these activities on social casinos offering real prizes based on a sweepstakes model. This limitation has not hindered access to offshore gambling sites, allowing players to explore a broader spectrum of online gambling options.

The Legal Gambling Status in Colorado

Statut

Colorado permits various forms of gambling, primarily land-based casinos offering slots, blackjack, poker, and more in cities like Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek. Native American casinos adhere to limited gaming rules. Online sports betting is legal through licensed apps, but online casinos and poker remain unregulated. The legal gambling age for all forms is 21. The Colorado Lottery, established in 1982, provides state and multistate draw games and scratch-off tickets, but no online sales. Parimutuel betting on horse and greyhound racing is available at Arapahoe Park and off-track betting locations. Charitable gaming includes bingo and raffles for qualified charities. However, betting on high school sports is prohibited. Specific statutes and regulations govern gambling activities, with fines for non-compliance and stringent sweepstakes laws for sponsors targeting Colorado consumers.

Type of Gambling Details
Land-Based Casinos 40 casinos in Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek. Permitted games include slots, blackjack, poker, craps, and roulette. Max bet capped at $100. Native American casinos follow “limited gaming” rules.
Online Gambling Legalized online sports betting through licensed apps. Unregulated online casinos and poker are available through offshore sites.
Sports Betting Authorized in 2019; various sports allowed, excluding high school sports.
Lottery Colorado Lottery offers state and multistate draw games and scratch-off tickets. No online sales available.
Racetracks Parimutuel betting on horse and greyhound racing at Arapahoe Park and off-track betting locations.
Charitable Gaming Bingo and raffles allowed for recognized charities.
Legal Framework Governed by Colorado Revised Statutes; strict regulations and penalties for non-compliance. Sweepstakes laws provide guidelines for sponsors.
Age Restriction Legal gambling age for all forms is 21, except for the lottery.

License for Online Casinos in Colorado

In Colorado, the absence of specific regulations governing online casinos has led players to seek alternatives through offshore platforms. Due to the lack of licensed and regulated online casino options within the state, many players opt for offshore casinos often regulated by jurisdictions such as Curacao or Panama. These offshore casinos provide a means for Colorado residents to access a variety of casino games, including slots, table games, and live dealer options, as they are not bound by the same legal constraints as the local operators. While Colorado permits online sports betting and daily fantasy sports, the state has not extended its regulatory framework to encompass online casino operations. Consequently, players in Colorado turn to these offshore platforms that accept their participation, providing a broader range of gambling options beyond what's available locally.

History and Timeline for Colorado Online Gambling

2016:

  • DFS Legalization: Colorado passes legislation legalizing Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) contests as games of skill.

November 2019:

  • Voter Approval for Sports Betting: Colorado voters approve an amendment to the state constitution (by a 50.8% majority) to authorize and regulate sports betting within the state.

July 2020:

  • Launch of Sports Betting: Despite challenges due to the pandemic (COVID-19), Colorado launches its sports betting market, allowing both land-based and mobile sports betting options.
  • Participating Operators: Licensed mobile sportsbooks, including prominent names like DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Bet365, begin operating in the state.

May 1, 2020:

  • Online Sports Betting Legalization: Online sports betting officially becomes legal in Colorado. Residents and visitors can engage in sports betting activities using various licensed apps.

Ongoing:

  • Online Casino and Poker Unregulated: Colorado doesn't currently have regulated online casino or poker sites within the state. However, offshore online gambling platforms accept players from Colorado.

Legal Gambling Forms in Colorado

Legal gambling forms in Colorado encompass a diverse range of options, all governed by the state's strict age regulations. With the legal gambling age uniformly set at 21, except for the state lottery allowing participation at 18, Colorado caters to various gambling preferences. Land-based casinos constitute a significant gambling avenue, offering an array of games like slot machines, poker, blackjack, and roulette. However, Colorado doesn't permit online casino gambling, emphasizing only online sports betting and Daily Fantasy Sports apps like FanDuel and DraftKings. The absence of legal online casinos prompts players to explore neighboring states or offshore platforms, which lack the security of US-regulated environments. Pari-mutuel betting, horse racing, and the state lottery remain popular, embracing Colorado's gambling landscape.

Gambling Forms Casinos Sports Betting Online Casinos Online Sports Betting Online Poker Poker Rooms Bingo Lottery Daily Fantasy Sports Pari-Mutuel Betting
Legal Age (Years) 21 21 Illegal 21 Illegal 21 21 18 21 21
Legal Status
USA Mobile Casinos Icon

Colorado Online Casinos

Online casinos are legal in Colorado, allowing licensed operators to offer a variety of casino games over the internet within the state's boundaries.
sports betting icon

Colorado Sports Betting

Sports betting is legal in Colorado, permitting individuals to place wagers on various sports events through licensed sportsbooks and online platforms.
poker cards

Colorado Online Poker

Online poker is legal and available in Colorado, allowing players to participate in poker games through authorized websites within the state.
Bingo Play Icon

Colorado Bingo

Bingo can be conducted for charitable or commercial purposes, following specific regulations set by the state of Colorado.
High Roller Bonuses

Colorado Blackjack

Blackjack, as a casino game, is permitted in Colorado's licensed casinos and gaming establishments that comply with state regulations.
Lottery Icon

Colorado Lotteries

Lotteries, including state-run and multi-state lotto games, are legal and available to Colorado residents, offering various games of chance.

Colorado Parimutuel Betting

Parimutuel betting on horse and dog racing allows individuals to place bets on these races at authorized racetracks or off-track betting locations.
Illegal

Colorado Prohibitet Gambling Activities

Some gambling activities, such as unlicensed gambling operations, illegal sports betting operations, and unauthorized games of chance, are strictly prohibited by Colorado law and punishable offenses.

Check Out These Online Casinos Available in Colorado

Discover a range of approved online casinos available in Colorado. You can pick your favorite type of gambling fun. When signing up on these websites, you'll need to confirm your age to follow the betting rules. Enjoy different betting options at these legal online casinos in Colorado while making sure you meet the necessary age requirements for a safe and legal gaming experience.

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Legalization of Bingo in Colorado

bingo

Bingo in Colorado operates under the Bingos and Raffles Law, allowing recognized charitable organizations to conduct these games as a means of fundraising. Regulated by the Colorado Secretary of State's office, charities must obtain a license to host bingo events. These games serve as a vital fundraising tool, enabling charities to raise funds for their respective causes. Participants must adhere to the state's minimum gambling age, typically set at 21 for most forms of gambling. The Bingos and Raffles Law imposes strict guidelines to ensure compliance, emphasizing the importance of following regulations to avoid legal consequences. By contributing to community support and charitable causes, bingo games organized by recognized charities play a significant role in aiding various social initiatives throughout Colorado.

Legalization of Blackjack in Colorado

blackjack

Blackjack was legalized in Colorado as part of the state's Limited Gaming Act of 2009, expanding the permitted casino games beyond slots, poker, and roulette. The amendment marked a significant shift in the state's gambling landscape, allowing players to engage in this popular card game. The legislation set specific regulations governing the play of blackjack, including rules for casinos in Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek. These regulations outlined aspects such as maximum bet limits, dealer conduct, and player participation. The legalization of blackjack not only broadened the range of gaming options available to casino patrons but also contributed to the state's growing casino industry, offering an additional attraction for both residents and visitors seeking diverse gambling experiences within Colorado's regulated gaming establishments.

Legalization of Lotteries in Colorado

Lottery Icon

The legalization of lotteries in Colorado traces back to the establishment of the Colorado Lottery in 1982. Enacted through state legislation, the Colorado Lottery offers various state and multistate draw games along with scratch-off tickets, following the guidelines outlined in the Colorado Revised Statutes. This legalization brought forth a platform for residents to participate in lottery gaming, providing opportunities to engage in games of chance and win prizes. However, as of the latest update, the legislature has not authorized online sales or games, restricting lottery participation to in-person purchases from licensed retail vendors. The legalization of lotteries under Colorado law has been a significant avenue for revenue generation, public entertainment, and the promotion of state-funded programs and initiatives.

Colorado Parimutuel Betting

Horse Racing IconIn Colorado, Parimutuel Betting has been an integral part of the state's gambling landscape since 1948. This form of betting allows individuals to wager on horse and greyhound racing, typically conducted at licensed racetracks or off-track betting (OTB) locations. However, live racing events are currently limited to Aurora’s Arapahoe Park, which has been a central hub for enthusiasts engaging in parimutuel betting activities.

The concept of parimutuel betting involves pooling all bets on a particular race or event, with the odds and final payouts determined by the total amount wagered on each outcome. In Colorado, this betting system is regulated and overseen to ensure fairness and integrity within the industry.

Over the years, the landscape of parimutuel betting has evolved, with the closure of various racetracks and the cessation of live greyhound racing in 2008, following a legislative ban on the sport in 2014. Despite these changes, Arapahoe Park remains a focal point for horse racing enthusiasts, offering simulcast wagering on races from other tracks throughout the year.

Colorado's laws surrounding parimutuel betting emphasize adherence to regulations, fair play, and responsible gambling practices. These regulations govern not only the conduct of racing events but also the facilities and entities involved in offering parimutuel wagering to ensure a transparent and secure betting environment for patrons.

Colorado Prohibited Gambling Activities

In Colorado, certain gambling activities remain prohibited under state law. Online casino gambling stands as a notable exclusion from legalized forms of betting. Although the state permits online sports betting and Daily Fantasy Sports, engaging in online casino gaming remains illegal. Furthermore, any attempt to access offshore or out-of-state online casinos for gambling purposes within Colorado's borders is against the law. Colorado's stringent regulations aim to maintain control over gambling activities and safeguard its residents, prohibiting specific forms of online gambling to uphold legal standards and protect consumers. As of now, online casino gambling stands among the restricted activities in Colorado, emphasizing compliance with state gambling laws.

Gambling in Colorado – Licensing, Tax and Fees

Tax and Fees Icon

In Colorado, gambling operates under established licensing, taxation, and fee structures. The state began levying gaming taxes in 1991 when casinos became legal in Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek. These taxes are computed on casinos' adjusted gross proceeds, subtracting winnings paid out from the wagers received. Managed by the Division of Gaming in the Department of Revenue, casinos are required to remit these taxes monthly. Most gaming tax revenue falls under the TABOR limit, though Amendments 50 and 77, approved by voters in 2009 and 2020 respectively, expanded gaming options exempt from this cap. Tax rates, determined by the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission, vary from 0.25% to 20% based on casinos' adjusted gross proceeds. Certain casinos on Indian Reservations are exempt from these taxes. Revenue distribution involves allocating funds to gaming counties, cities, historical preservation, and state programs. Additionally, the legalization of sports betting in 2019 led to a 10% tax on casinos' net sports betting proceeds, with revenues allocated to administrative costs, a hold harmless fund, counseling services for gambling addiction, and funding water projects outlined in the State Water Plan.

Important Questions for Gambling Laws of Colorado

Is online gambling legal in Colorado?

Online gambling, including sports betting and casino gaming, is legal in Colorado. The state authorized online sports betting in 2020, allowing licensed operators to offer online platforms for betting on sports events. Online casinos, however, were not legalized explicitly.

What is the minimum age requirement for engaging in online casinos, sports betting, and poker in Colorado?

In Colorado, individuals must be at least 21 years old to participate in online sports betting, casinos, and poker.

How does parimutuel betting work in Colorado?

Parimutuel betting in Colorado involves pooled betting, where bettors place wagers on an outcome, and all bets are placed together in a pool. After deducting taxes and the house take, the remaining pool is divided among the winning bets, with odds being determined by the total amount wagered on each outcome.

What types of gambling are legally permissible in Colorado?

Colorado permits various forms of gambling, including casino gaming in designated areas such as Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek. Legal gambling activities also include pari-mutuel betting, lottery games, limited sports betting, and poker in licensed establishments.

Which regulatory bodies oversee gambling activities in Colorado?

The primary regulatory bodies overseeing gambling in Colorado include the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission, responsible for regulating casino gaming, and the Division of Gaming in the Department of Revenue, which oversees licensing and taxation related to gaming activities in the state. Additionally, the Colorado Division of Racing Events oversees pari-mutuel betting on horse and dog racing.

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