Michael McKean is an experienced writer with a portfolio that includes work on the subjects of sport, gambling, travel and finance. With a background rooted in journalism, Michael first ventured into the professional writing world based in Switzerland, where he wrote for a number of language and travel sites and magazines before moving into the world of sports writing and gambling sites.
As an avid soccer fan, who follows everything from the Scottish lower leagues to the European elites, he has earned himself a solid reputation as a reliable football betting tipster and predictor. Outside of work, Michael has always gotten involved with grassroutes football everywhere he has worked and lived - UK, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Brazil - and still isn’t shy when it comes to pulling the boots on himself. As well as soccer, he has also developed a love of North American sports, particularly ice hockey - a love which began in Switzerland and saw him venture across the pond to follow the NHL. Moving away from dry land, he’s also a keen longboard surfer and is happiest when writing with a view of the ocean.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Colorado?
At Captaingambling.com, we understand you Colorado bettors want to know your options. Colorado has always been a state that has been strict on online gambling, yet nowadays, you can start to see some of these restrictions relaxing.
Online gambling Colorado is slowly, and surely becoming a blossoming online gambling community, with options becoming more and more frequent with every passing day. This article is designed to clear up what is legal and what is illegal in Colorado, and how you can make the most of online gambling Colorado platforms.
The legal status quo in Colorado – is online gambling legal in Colorado?
Online gambling Colorado has always been strictly regulated. Colorado is a Midwestern state, and generally, midwestern states are strict to clamp down on gambling in any form. However, Colorado has been a noticeable exception when it came to land based casinos.
By 1948, betting on horses and greyhounds was legalized. In 1982, The Colorado Lottery was legalized and organized – the first step in allowing a wider gambling legislation across the state. In 1991, the gaming initiative became law – legalising forms of gambling across the state.
Online gambling Colorado, however, had a slower uptake. For a long time, Colorado had a heavy resistance to any form of online gambling – strictly prohibiting it. It wasn’t until May of 2020 that sports betting was legalized in Colorado.
As of 2021, online casinos and poker are still illegal according to Colorado gambling laws. By law, all commercial and tribal casinos have to apply for a license to bring their sports betting online. This means you’ll find most big offshore sportsbooks hosting sports betting within the state.
In the future, it could be very likely online casino and poker activity is legalized. Many similar states to Colorado, such as Delaware and Michigan, also had heavy prohibitions on online gambling.
Sports betting is by far the strongest vertical for online gambling Colorado. Sports betting was always the most accepted form of legal betting in Colorado. The first form of online gambling Colorado was sports related – in 1948, the first legalized form of online gambling was betting on horse and greyhound racing.
Apart from horse racing though, sports betting was strictly prohibited stretching all throughout the 20th century. But, it wasn’t until the early 21st century that sports betting on a wider basis began to be considered for legalisation. In November 2019, the first major change was implemented.
Voters in the state approved Proposition DD, the Legalize Sports Betting with Tax Revenue for Water Projects measure. With this measure, sports betting legislation was in play to be legalized.
The 33 land based casinos based in Colorado were now all eligible to apply for sportsbooks – on both an online and retail scale. May 2020 is when the bill was implemented. Since then, all 33 of the casinos have applied for online sports betting licenses. It's interesting to note that gambling laws by state have recently been more lenient for online sportsbooks, than online casinos.
Currently, you have all the variety when it comes to sports gambling in Colorado. You can bet on international sports, national sports, college level sports, motor game sports and any form of eSports that is available.
The one condition for online gambling Colorado sportsbooks though is that the bettor himself has to be within Colorado state lines. For example, if you’re a Colorado resident, and you go to Iowa, it’s illegal for you to be gambling in Colorado. However, it’s not the same the other way around – Colorado is one of the few gambling states that allows the use of offshore sportsbooks within state lines.
You can check out our top recommended operators below if you want to get started with the best online gambling Colorado sportsbooks as soon as possible.
Casino gaming in Colorado – make do with foreign options
As we’ve covered before, online gambling Colorado is illegal when it comes to online casinos. None of the land based casinos in Colorado have an online platform, and playing at any form of online platform based within the state lines will get you prosecuted. So, to answer your question, is online gambling legal in Colorado? - with online casinos, it is.
However, the same can’t be said for offshore casinos. There’s no state law that strictly prohibits the use of legal offshore casinos within Colorado.
The issue is a Constitutional Amendment would need to be made to change the laws on online casinos, so that would take some time to legislate and be passed. With that in mind, there are a few legal, secure offshore casinos you can visit for your online gambling Colorado fix.
First off, we absolutely must emphasize you need to make sure any offshore casino you play with is secure. There are many different ways you can check this, such as checking if the website is secure, ensuring payments are fully safe and checking the bottom of the web page to see if the casino is certified.
Most online casinos will be certified by either MGA (Malta Gaming Authority), the UKGC (United Kingdom Gaming Commission) or NAGRA (North American Gaming Regulators Association). We want to make sure you have the safest possible experience gambling in Colorado, so just keep that in mind before we proceed.
Online poker in Colorado – no ace in the hole here
Unfortunately, there’s little chance you can play any kind of online poker as a Colorado resident. Colorado law is clear about online casinos and online poker specifically, mainly because of the high stakes nature of the game. ‘Is online gambling legal in Colorado?’ is a good question to be asking in terms of online poker. But the answer is a hard no.
For land based casinos, poker is by far the most strictly regulated game you’ll find. The maximum single bet you can make on a game of poker is $100, so you can imagine how difficult it will be for gambling sites in Colorado to try to implement poker into their arsenal.
As far as offshore casinos go, you’re welcome to try. As is the same with online casino play, there’s no online gambling Colorado law that limits poker in offshore casinos.
The biggest limit we’ve found is that there aren't many offshore casinos that can offer poker services for Colorado players. Most of what we’ve found is slots, and other table games. So, you can search, but you may struggle to find offshore platforms that provide online poker for you Colorado residents, and we always advise that you carefully check the security of the site whenever considering offshore operators, as we’ve detailed above.
Fantasy sports in Colorado – some daily competition
Fantasy sports are an odd one when it comes to online gambling Colorado. For many states, Illinois internet gambling for instance, they hover within a grey area of legality.
Sometimes, they involve pools of money as a reward – so, technically, any fantasy sports platforms could be considered an online gambling Colorado platform. But, fantasy sports was legalized well before online gambling Colorado.
Fantasy sports were legalized in June 2016, under Bill H-1404. The legalized bill in Colorado focuses on Daily Fantasy Sports, or DFS. Most online gambling Colorado bookmakers provide DFS services, which operate differently from your regular, long term fantasy sports leagues.
DFS focuses on a single weekend, or in some cases, a single day of sporting activities. So, for example, your chosen lineup would be limited to a weekend of matches the Dallas Cowboys might have. If your lineup beats the competition, you’ll get rewarded with real time money.
There’s a variety of sports you can bet on DFS. Football, baseball, hockey, soccer, basketball and eSports are all available on online gambling Colorado sportsbooks.
Two sites primarily dominate the DFS scene in Colorado. There aren’t many other Colorado gambling sites that have a stake in the DFS market: these two international bookmakers control 90% of the market share in DFS betting. The two sportsbooks are Draftkings and FanDuel.
Have a look at our recommended DFS operators to compare and see for yourself which one suits you best:
Social casinos in Colorado – this is where the fun begins
Now, we’re getting to something Colorado thrives in. Although it’s not technically considered as online gambling, Colorado offers a huge variety of social casinos for a player to choose from. Social casinos are essentially casino play without real money wagers.
They utilize a virtual currency – meaning you get all the thrill without the risk. For example, online gambling Connecticut primarily relies on social casinos, because real money gambling is illegal in the state.
Most gambling sites in Colorado that operate as social casinos usually provide slots games. Sometimes, the sites will offer a limited selection of table games, but it’s mostly slots games they specialize in.
However, some social casinos utilize a ‘sweepstake’ system – meaning, a special sweepstake currency can be used to exchange for real cash prizes. To make this model legal under online gambling Colorado law, there has to be a few conditions met.
First off, the players themselves don’t have to make a wager at all. The social casino in question has to reward the sweepstake currency through other methods – whether it’s a bonus, entering competitions and sending a letter, or simply by logging in consistently.
There’s still ‘purchases’ that can be made, for virtual currency. However, this is not seen as a ‘wager’ on a sporting activity or casino game, so this isn’t considering an online gambling Colorado activity.
So, I’m sure you’re wondering what the best gambling sites in Colorado for social casinos are. Your options are plenty, including the likes of:
Other betting options in Colorado – premium choice
There are some more options you have for legal online gambling Colorado platforms.
Horse racing was the first legalized form of online gambling Colorado, back in 1948. Many of the popular sportsbooks, like DraftKings and FanDuel, offer horse racing betting opportunities.
But, some Colorado gambling sites offer exclusive horse racing experiences, with the likes of TVG and BetAmerica offering some great horse racing betting experiences.
eSports has become a dedicated part of gambling in Colorado, and part of the overall gaming culture in the state. Ever since gambling was legalized, Colorado eSports betting options came plentiful.
Some online gambling Colorado eSports providers include GameCo, and FansUnite, who have worked to bring an exclusive eSports experience to Colorado residents.
The Colorado Lottery is a staple for gambling in Colorado. For the longest time, it was the only form of legal online gambling Colorado.
It was established in 1983, and since then, has allowed a form of betting that betters the state as a whole. Anyone within state borders are eligible to play the likes of PowerBall, Mega Millions, Pick 3 and Lucky for Life.
Editor's recommendationfor the best operator for Colorado – DraftKings reigns over their kingdom
We believe DraftKings solidly reigns over all forms of online gambling Colorado. They first established themselves as a sportsbook in 2020, but soon branched out into Daily Fantasy as well. Across both their sportsbook and their fantasy sports platform, they have some of the best betting experiences you’ll find.
Their sportsbook has a signup offer of a 100% deposit up to a whopping $1000, and their fantasy sports vertical offers a free wildcard in the anticipated DraftKings Wild Card Instant Win Challenge.
Not only do both of these verticals offer wildly different, yet great quality betting. DraftKings ensures your playing is as safe and secure as it can be.
They have a number of payment options available to the player, including the likes of debit card, Paypal, and other eWallets such as Skrill, and Neteller.
They also have a dedicated customer service team that is very efficient and quick to respond. Offering email, phone and social media contact, all of their contact services are active 24/7.
If that doesn’t convince you they’re the premiere online gambling Colorado platform, their competitive odds and regular bonuses should. DraftKings offer a great all round experience, and we’d absolutely recommend Colorado bettors take advantage of that.
20% up to $1000
T&Cs apply, 18+
Get DraftKings Casino Bonus
What does the future hold for betting and gaming in Colorado?
Honestly, it can be quite hard to predict. When it comes to gambling in Colorado, there’s been constant efforts made to legalize more and more. For example, a bill to legalize online casinos has been constantly pushed through Colorado gambling laws, but has been narrowly rejected every time.
With the recent legalization of sports betting, we fully believe it will only be a matter of time before online gambling Colorado is fully legalized. So, the main question we have now is when? Colorado is far from the strictest state when it comes to gambling law.
Laws surrounding gambling in Florida, for example, were extremely strict until they were finally relaxed in 2021. Sometimes, it only takes a tiny push to start the ball rolling! With the success of DraftKings, FanDuel and other huge sportsbooks in the state, online gambling in Colorado will eventually open up its borders and allow regulated online casinos to function fully within the state.
Conclusion – options once you know where to look
To wrap up, online gambling in Colorado is not nearly as strict as it used to be. With online sportsbooks finally being legalized in 2020, this has opened the floodgates to some great quality online gambling Colorado platforms to establish themselves.
Social casinos have also been a staple for online gambling Colorado as well, with Chumba Casino providing some brilliant slots to play with. Along with horse racing and eSports, you have plenty of choice if you focus on the right areas. And, we believe it’s only a matter of time before online casinos and poker are legalized as well.
Simply put, that depends on a lot of factors. Colorado only has some forms of online gambling that could be considered ‘legal’ according to their state law, and other forms of online gambling are strictly considered illegal. That’s the thing about gambling in the US – the laws completely vary from state to state, and it can be difficult to keep track of it all. For more information, check out our gambling laws by state page.
❌ What kinds of gambling are considered illegal in Colorado?
There are many different forms. But, again, it’s all dependent on which one you wish to gamble on, and whether you are within Colorado state lines. However, Colorado is far from the strictest when it comes to online gambling. Some states prohibit online gambling in all forms, even including the likes of lotteries. You can find out more by reading our state-specific guides to online gambling.
🔞 What’s the legal age of gambling in Colorado?
Again, that depends on the gambling activity you want to do. Some of the less regulated activities, like the lottery and bingo, will have a lower legal age than more regulated and risky forms of gambling in Colorado. This is commonplace across many states - they will have different legal ages, for different forms and platforms of online gambling.