Sportsbooks Licensed for Sports Betting in Colorado
The US sports betting industry saw massive growth in 2020, and the state of Colorado played a significant role in that. Colorado has quickly emerged as a top-five sports betting market in the United States, and that should only continue to get bigger in the future.
Sports betting officially launched in Colorado on May 1, 2020, and several companies were ready to offer betting at that time. Colorado decided to launch sports betting amid the pandemic, but it didn’t take the state long to get things going.
There are more than a dozen sports betting apps already available in Colorado and the potential to have more than 30 retail locations. The monthly sports betting handle total should go over the $500 million mark at some point in 2021.
Colorado Online Sportsbook Apps
Colorado lawmakers knew and understood that online sports betting was the best way to bring in revenue, and they allowed this part of the industry to launch on May 1 along with retail betting. Online-only operators had to partner with a land-based casino, but companies had little trouble doing so.
Most industry experts expected Colorado to become a massive sports betting market, and that caught the attention of sports betting operators. Nearly all of the biggest names in the industry have launched in Colorado, and that has created a competitive and thriving market.
- Circa Sports
- theScore Bet
- US Bookmaking
- WestGate SuperBook
Colorado has a rich and storied history with sports. The Denver Broncos are an original AFL team and have claimed three Super Bowl titles. The Colorado Avalanche won their first of two Stanley Cups in their first year of existence.
The Colorado Buffaloes won a Division I National Championship in football, Denver was home to the birth of the UFC, and Manassa, Colorado, is the birthplace of one of the greatest boxers of all time, Jack Dempsey.
Colorado’s love of sports and influence on the sports world is undeniable, and thanks to a voter-approved move to legalize sports betting in the Centennial State, Coloradans can now wager on all of them.
Colorado Sports Betting Licensing Timeline
In November 2019, the voters in Colorado narrowly approved the legalization of sports betting for both retail locations and online. Because the new bill contained a tax – albeit a tax on the operators and not the customers – the public vote was required by Colorado law.
With the bill passed, lawmakers began going about the task of creating the rules and regulations of sports betting in the Centennial State and hammering out the details on how sports betting licenses would work. They came up with three main types of sportsbook operator’s licenses as well as two other licenses for those who work in support of the industry.
Types of Colorado Sports Betting Licenses
The most comprehensive type of sports betting license in the state is a master license. When a land-based casino in Colorado is approved for a master license, they become legal to open a physical retail sportsbook on casino property, as well as offer online and mobile wagering throughout the state. When a casino holds a master license, it can partner with two different online sportsbook operators.
Sports Betting Operator License
A sports betting operator license gives a casino the right to open a physical retail sportsbook on casino property but does not allow for online sports betting.
Internet Sports Betting Operator License
This type of license only allows for online and mobile sports betting. It does not include the ability to open a retail sportsbook, but it does still require that the sportsbook operator partner with a Colorado land-based casino.
Vendor Major License
These are licenses for anyone who manages or controls bet and gaming the are wagered both in-person and online.
Vendor Minor License
Any person who is contracted through a sports betting operator must hold a vendor minor license.
First Licenses Approved
When Colorado’s Limited Gaming Control Commission was creating the rules that would govern the state’s sports betting industry, it set a launch date of May 1, 2020. So in order to make that date and have sports betting ready to go, the commission made quick approval of seven initial applicants.
The first casinos in Colorado to be awarded a sports betting license were:
- Brass Ass Casino (Cripple Creek)
- Dostal Alley (Central City)
- Double Eagles (Cripple Creek)
- JP McGills (Cripple Creek)
- Midnight Rose (Cripple Creek)
- Monarch Casino (Black Hawk)
- Saratoga Casino (Black Hawk)
At that time of the approvals, it was known that Betfred was partnered with Saratoga Casino, and PointsBet would provide the sports betting through Double Eagle.
First Sportsbooks Launch
Sports betting launched successfully in Colorado on May 1, 2020, and four online sportsbooks went live.
The Midnight Rose Casino and its partner, BetMGM, launched their mobile app on May 1. They were joined by DraftKings (partnered with the Mardi Gras Casino), FanDuel (partnered with the Golden Gates Casino), and BetRivers (partnered with JP McGill’s Casino).
Since these first four sportsbooks launched their operations, the total number of land-based sportsbooks in Colorado has climbed to 16, and the online list of sports betting operators in the state has grown to more than 20.
What You Can and Can’t Bet in Colorado
Sports You Can Bet
Almost every sport being played on the planet is available to wager through the 20 different online sportsbooks operating in Colorado.
All professional sports are legal to bet. Be it table tennis in Asia, rugby in Australia, basketball being played in Europe, or soccer from South America, the legal sports betting reach of Colorado sportsbooks is global.
All college sports can be wagered as well, including local college events. Unlike some other states that have college betting restrictions, in Colorado, it is perfectly legal to bet on local college and university sports teams and all collegiate events taking place in Colorado.
So you can bet on the annual Colorado-Colorado State football game, as well as all NCAA sanctioned events taking place in the state.
Sports You Can’t Bet
Fortunately, this list is quite short.
In Colorado, it is illegal to bet on high school sports and any amateur sporting event where the participants are under the age of 18.
And while it is legal to bet on the outcomes of college sporting events, it is not legal to place proposition bets on college sports. You can bet on the Buffs during their Pac-12 football season, but not on how many touchdowns their quarterback will throw.
It is also illegal to bet on esports.
Types of Bets You Can Make in Colorado
There are no restrictions on the types of sports bets that are legal, with the exception being no proposition betting on college sports. Otherwise, the full range of bet types is available at Colorado sportsbooks.
– Point Spread
– Round Robins
– Futures Bets
– Proposition Bets
– In-Play Wagering
One thing Colorado has been excellent in doing as it unfolded its legal sports betting offerings since they went live on May 1, 2020, is integrating live and in-play betting for a variety of sports and at a large number of sportsbooks.
The Broncos have signed partnerships with Betfred, FanDuel, and BetMGM, and live betting in-stadium is expected to come in the near future and then expand to other Colorado sports venues.
Types of Bets You Can’t Make in Colorado
Colorado does not offer bets on events that aren’t considered sports. There is no legal betting on the Academy Awards, presidential elections, the naming of the next royal baby, or any other novelty bet that you might find in another state.
Banking and Deposit Options for Colorado Sportsbooks
Colorado is one of the top states in America for sports betting, thanks to the long list of sportsbooks options that have been made available there. With those sportsbooks, options have come a wide range of banking options that bettors can utilize at Colorado sportsbooks. Here, we look at what deposit and withdrawal methods bettors can use and what they should be aware of when performing these transactions.
As far as deposit options are concerned, the most important thing for bettors in Colorado to remember is that they can use credit and debit cards. Whereas banking institutions could prevent these transactions prior to legalization and regulation taking place in Colorado, that is no longer a concern. Cards like Visa and MasterCard can now be used at virtually every regulated sports betting site.
In addition to credit and debit cards, bettors can also use options like PayPal, prepaid cards such as PayNearMe, and even cash at the casino partners of several online sportsbooks. Bettors can also use their bank account information to perform a bank transfer directly from their bank account to their sportsbook account.
The withdrawal options at Colorado sportsbooks are similar to the list of deposit options, with one notable difference. That difference is the fact that bettors are not able to have their withdrawals sent to their credit or debit cards. They can, however, have a bank transfer performed to have the money sent back to their bank accounts.
Other acceptable withdrawal methods include PayPal and prepaid cards. While the list of accepted withdrawal options is not as long as the list of deposit options, bettors can still look forward to getting their money whether or not they have a bank account. And with withdrawals taking as little as one day at some sportsbooks, bettors can rest assured that they will get their money and get it quickly.
Rules to Consider
The most important of all banking rules at Colorado sportsbooks pertains to deposit minimums. Bettors should make sure that they are willing and able to deposit the amount that they want when using their preferred deposit method. While most deposit methods have very low minimums at most sportsbooks, this is something to look into before creating any new sportsbook accounts.
Also important to consider is the idea that bettors should look for the best welcome bonus they can when making their first deposit. Different welcome bonuses work better for different bettors, as different sites offer various bonus amounts and formats such as deposit matches and risk-free bets. It is up to bettors to figure out what they like the best and what will give them the most added value when making their first deposit.
Bettors should also consider the playthrough requirements for sportsbook bonuses when making deposits. These numbers have become much more competitive from site to site over the years, as sportsbooks look to attract new players. Lower playthrough requirements mean fewer bets needed to withdraw funds, so bettors should always be aware of that number.
Colorado Retail Sports Betting Locations
Retail sports betting is available in the state of Colorado, although it is only offered in a select portion of the state. Retail casinos in Colorado are able to apply for a sports betting license to offer bets, and there are nearly 40 of them available.
All of the in-person casino gaming and sports betting is done in three remote towns in the Rocky Mountains. These three towns are Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek.
There is a chance that retail sports betting could eventually come to sports venues in the city of Denver, but that’s not going to happen anytime soon.
Top Teams in Colorado
One of the top reasons that Colorado sports betting has gotten off to such a strong start is the popularity of the teams in the state. All of the top professional teams call the city of Denver home, but these teams all have a large following throughout the state.
The most popular team in the state of Colorado is the Denver Broncos of the National Football League. Football Sunday is big in the state of Colorado, and the city of Denver is dominated by fans of the Broncos.
Betting on the NFL is popular throughout the United States, and that is the case in Colorado as well. The Denver Broncos have struggled in recent seasons, but the team still enjoys a massive following.
Basketball is another popular betting market in Colorado, and the Denver Nuggets are the home team in the state. The Denver Nuggets have not been around as long as some other franchises, but few teams have a larger fanbase.
Betting on the Denver Nuggets help sportsbooks get through the months without professional or college football.
The Colorado Rockies broke into Major League Baseball in 1993 and instantly became a popular team in the state. The Rockies play their home games at Coors Field in Denver, and they have done extremely well with attendance since coming into the league.
Betting on baseball is not as common as it is with other sports, but the Rockies will bring plenty of action each Summer.
Hockey has always been popular in the state of Colorado, and the Avalanche are the pride and joy for sports fans. The Colorado Avalanche have had some years of great success in the National Hockey League, but they remain a popular team even when they are not playing well.
Bettors are allowed to make wagers on college teams and events in Colorado, and that is another rule that has helped drive sports betting. The Colorado Buffaloes and the Colorado State Rams are the two most popular teams in the state.
Outside of the two favorite local teams, college basketball and college football are two large betting markets in the Centennial State.
Land-Based Sportsbooks in Colorado
Unlike some states, Colorado sports bettors are blessed with a huge selection of online and mobile sports betting apps. The count of operating mobile sports betting sites has passed 20, and continues to climb.
But sometimes, you want to be in the mix and not at home. You want the excitement and immediate feedback of being at a retail sportsbook with your fellow sports bettors, cheering on your bets. Again, Colorado sports bettors are blessed, as there are currently 16 land-based sportsbooks licensed in the state, operating inside retail casinos in three historic mining towns.
Ameristar Casino Black Hawk – Barstool
On the second floor of the casino, the Barstool Sportsbook features a 24-foot video wall, 29 high-definition televisions, drink specials, and 24-hour sports betting kiosks.
Isle Casino and Hotel – William Hill
This Caesars Entertainment property in Black Hawk is partnered with the global sports betting giant William Hill to handle both its online and retail sports betting.
Lady Luck Casino – William Hill
Another Caesars Entertainment property in Black Hawk, William Hill is the expert behind its wide selection of retail sports betting kiosks.
Golden Mardi Gras Casino – DraftKings
DraftKings went big with its sportsbook at Golden Mardi Gras, with 32 55-inch televisions, an additional 11 65-inch TVs, eight kiosks, and a full bar and VIP lounge.
Monarch Casino Black Hawk – BetMonarch
Like what DraftKings has done, Monarch will be opening a large state-of-the-art sportsbook in the near future. Until then, you can place bets at their temporary location on the second floor.
Red Dolly Casino – Elite Gaming
Red Dolly’s Elite Sportsbook is limited to a mobile app and betting kiosks located inside the oldest casino in Black Hawk.
Saratoga Casino – Betfred
Featuring a 1,400 square foot dedicated space, an LED video wall, multiple betting windows and kiosks, and the more than 50 years of experience of Betfred.
Sasquatch Casino and Wild Card Saloon – IGT PlaySports
Part of the same ownership group, both casinos have signed on to have a retail sportsbook provided by IGT PlaySports. The licensure has been granted by the state, but the land-based sportsbooks have not yet begun operation.
The three Maverick Gaming properties – Z Casino in Black Hawk and the Grand Z and Johnny Z Casino in Central City – share licensure for both an online and retail sportsbook. Only the sportsbook in the Grand Z is in operation, and it’s unclear if its sister properties plan to open their own.
Bronco Billy’s Casino – Twinspires
Twinspires is the technical and sports betting expert behind the sportsbook at Bronco Billy’s, which at this time is limited to sports betting kiosks.
Colorado Grande Hotel & Casino – ISI
Come for the sports betting kiosks, stay for the large number of dining and gaming options offered at this historic location.
Johnny Nolon’s Casino – ISI
The sportsbook at Johnny Nolon’s is limited to betting kiosks for the time being. But they are open 24 hours and will take bets on sports across the world.
Wildwood Casino – BetWildwood (ISI)
Woody’s Sportsbook at Wildwood has a complete kitchen and bar, a huge TV wall, and 24-hour kiosks.