Legal sports betting is live in Colorado in all its many forms. There will be land-based sportsbooks at a large number of the state’s casinos.
You will be able to access online gaming and create internet accounts that are run by the partner operators to those casinos. And most importantly, and most conveniently, sports betting in Colorado also includes mobile connectivity over sportsbook apps.
Unlike what has happened in New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo has continued to keep mobile gaming out of the Empire State’s new sports gambling laws, Colorado has done things right — at least as far as both the bookmakers and sports betting customers are concerned. States across the country have shown that when sports betting is mobile, that becomes the preferred method of placing bets.
But with so many betting options and apps coming online, how is someone supposed to keep them straight? And what is the difference between placing bets on your mobile device vs. sitting down at your personal computer and using a web-based sportsbook?
When using an app, are customers limited on what they can do? Are certain functions, like account management, harder on a mobile device?
Will you still get full access to any promotions and bonus offers that a sportsbook may offer? And do any of the new Colorado laws limit your ability to have a full sports betting experience while using your mobile device?
The passing of Proposition DD made sports betting legal in Colorado, but it didn’t answer all of the questions sports bettors in this state still have. In this space, you will find the answers to all of these questions, as well as many more.
Best Colorado betting apps
Several nationally recognized mobile sportsbook providers have already created legal partnerships with area casinos to bring their mobile services to Colorado. The total list includes some of the big names and heavy hitters that you immediately think of, as well as many companies that have made names for themselves elsewhere in the world and are now breaking into the booming US sports betting market.
As sports betting continues to ramp up in Colorado and more land-based casinos get their sportsbook licenses, the list of partner mobile providers will also continue to grow.
How to place mobile sports bets in Colorado
Placing bets on your mobile device works almost the same as if you’re standing at the counter and in front of a teller. Once you have an account, and money in that account, simply navigate to the sport you want to play and then choose the game that contains the wager you want to bet.
Pick the wager type, choose the side you’re betting on, add the dollar amount of the wager, and then confirm that the information you have chosen is correct. No matter the type of wager, from a straight bet on the moneyline, a parlay combining multiple events or a futures bet on the winner of Super Bowl LV, the process works the same.
Most apps are easy to navigate and laid out in a logical and user-friendly way. They also come with robust user guides and FAQ sections to help you find your way around, should you need any extra assistance.
Apps vs. websites
Most people find the convenience of using a mobile sports betting app makes it the superior choice over a website. It’s always with you.
Chances are good that your phone boots up faster than your computer at home. And the mobility factor of having your phone in your pocket while at a stadium or arena, and then making a bet right there as you watch the game, is incredibly appealing to players.
Websites on your computer will have larger displays and larger keyboards, naturally. And sometimes, a mobile app will crunch information in a way that makes it harder to navigate.
If you’re at home and monitoring online scoreboards or watching internet feeds of games and events taking place, opening another window on your browser and using it to place sports bets is both logical and convenient.
Other times the choice isn’t yours. Not all online sportsbooks have a corresponding mobile app, leaving you no choice but to use their website. But if you’re unsure if your online sportsbook does offer mobile connectivity, the easiest place to check is the website itself.
As mentioned, when a sports betting app is available, it typically becomes the main avenue for sports betting revenue. But the ultimate decision on which you choose to use is yours alone.
Colorado Android and iOS betting apps
Most sportsbooks will offer mobile apps that are compatible with both iOS and Android devices. But because Google Play prohibits all types of gambling apps, you’ll have to download Android apps directly from the sportsbook website.
For iOS sportsbook apps, many of the sportsbooks offer both an app for your phone and an app for your iPad. Just make sure you download the one you want.
Also, since companies like DraftKings and FanDuel have operations in multiple states, be sure to download the app that gives you access to Colorado gaming. Sometimes it’s a single app that requires you to choose your location once you’ve logged on, but others have different apps for different states.
In-browser sports betting
For the companies that do not offer a mobile app, there is still another way that you can use your mobile device to place sports bets. You can simply open a browser on your phone and access the online sportsbook to place bets that way.
Most of these online sportsbooks will have mobile compatible browsers that allow you to navigate around the page almost as if you were using an app. It all works just like you’re using the online sportsbook on your home computer but from the convenience of your mobile device.
Creating an account
The very first time you log on to an online sportsbook or open up a newly downloaded app, you will be asked to create an account. Often you can skip this step to just look around the site, browse its betting and sports menus, and see what else it has to offer. But when you are ready to begin placing bets, you will be required to register.
The process of registering for a new sportsbook account is easy. You will be required to give your name, date of birth, physical address, email address, phone number and the last four digits of your Social Security number. All of this is used to help verify that you are, in fact, at least 21 years old.
Then you will choose a unique username and password and answer a few security questions if your identity needs to be verified at a later date. For many sportsbooks, you will be given the option of turning on two-factor authentication to give your account an extra layer of security. Once all of that is done, you’re ready to move on to the financials.
Deposits via Colorado sports betting apps
The most important thing to know about making deposits into your account using a mobile app is that it is secure. All sports betting apps come with encryption technology to ensure that any information you send through the device is safe.
It’s also important to know that making deposits through your mobile account with a sportsbook works just like making deposits online. All of the options that are available on a web browser are also available through the app.
The best and most secure way to make a deposit is through online bill pay. That way, you never have to give out a credit or debit card number, and the new funds appear in your account immediately. It works just like paying your bills online, and with most banks, it’s simple and straightforward to set up and operate.
You can also set up wire transfers from your bank or have an e-check sent to your sportsbook account. All of these electronic transfers from your bank account to your sports betting account can be done directly from the app.
If you still prefer to use a credit or debit card, that is, of course, available. E-wallet services, such as PayPal and Neteller, are also easy to use and secure methods of making deposits immediately. Some bookmakers will offer prepaid cards that a customer can use to top up their accounts. You can also visit your area 7-Eleven and use the PayNearMe terminal to purchase a voucher using cash that can then be used through the app to make a deposit.
When using the mobile app on your phone, you can also access the many withdrawal options that are available for your sports betting account. Although, depending on the type of deposit that you made, not all methods of withdrawal are available.
E-checks can be issued, and it’s the preferred method of withdrawal for sportsbooks. You simply activate the withdrawal from your app, and the sportsbook will deposit the e-check directly into your account.
If you used one of the available e-wallets — PayPal, Neteller or Skrill — bookmakers will be able to reverse the transfer of funds and put your withdrawal into the same account you used for a deposit.
And of course, there is the old-fashioned paper check in the mail. Just be prepared for delays in processing the check and delivering it in the mail to your home address.
Types of mobile sports bets available in Colorado
Just as with the financials of your account, nothing about the available wager types changes because you’re using a mobile app. Everything available at the retail sportsbooks and on the web is also accessible from your mobile device.
Point spread bets: If you want to bet the favorite, you have to give up points. If you bet the underdog, you can still win the bet even if your team loses, as long as the underdog stays within the spread.
Moneyline bets: Straight-up bets without a point spread. Moneyline bets pay less for picking the favorite and more for picking the underdog.
Totals bets: Also known as over/under bets, this is a bet on the total combined score of the game, with you betting either over or under a total set by the sportsbook.
Parlays: A parlay is two or more individual bets combined into one large single bet that only wins if all of the legs of the parlay win.
Proposition bets: These are bets on individual or team accomplishments that take place within a game, like most yards passing, the first team to score a goal or total home runs allowed. Colorado does not allow proposition bets on college sports.
Futures bets: Bets on events that have yet to take place — like the World Series or next year’s Super Bowl — are known as futures bets.
In-play wagering: One of the newest and most exciting ways to bet, in-play wagers are bets that take place on events that have already started. There are multiple spreads, buyout options and constantly changing odds as the game itself changes. In-play wagering is especially good on a mobile app because of the connection speed required to calculate the changing odds.
Legality of mobile betting in Colorado
When voters approved Proposition DD in November 2019, they legalized all possible platforms for sports gambling — in-person, online and mobile. The law that was passed in the Legislature, signed by the governor and approved by the voters, legalized mobile sports betting in Colorado.
Since then, the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission has written the specific rules for sports betting in the state, including the licensure requirements for operators of mobile sportsbooks. As long as it is partnered with one of the land-based Colorado casinos that has been granted a master license to operate sports gaming, the mobile sportsbook provider can offer web and mobile-based access.
The requirements for customers who want to place mobile sports bets in Colorado are simple. You must be at least 21 years old, and you must physically be inside the borders of Colorado when placing bets and making deposits and withdrawals.
Players can sign up for and register an account outside the borders of Colorado, but geolocation technology will prevent the other functions of the app from being available.
Do you have to have an app to bet?
Not at all. There are more than 30 casinos operating legally in Colorado, and most of those plan to offer some sort of sports wagering at their brick-and-mortar locations.
If you want to place sports bets in person and with a teller, you’ll have to do it at one of these casino-operated sportsbooks.
Mobile sportsbook accounts will also come with access on the web. So if you don’t have your mobile device for some reason or don’t want to download the corresponding app, you will still be able to place bets this way.
Colorado sports betting bonuses
Because the new Colorado market is so crowded with sportsbook operators, they will be putting on the full-court press to bring in your business. That means plenty of attractive and profitable bonus offers and promotions in the hopes that you’ll register your new account with them.
Deposit bonuses: One very common bonus is a matching deposit bonus for new registrations. The sportsbook offers to match your first deposit up to a certain percentage and a certain amount of money, and then you have that money to wager.
It is not uncommon to see deposit bonuses matching you at 100% and up to $500 on your initial account deposit. Then to get full use of the bonus money, the sportsbook will have release requirements.
On a $500 match, it might require that you wager that amount 10x, or a total of $5,000 in placed bets, before releasing the amount into your account. Up until then, it remains bonus money, but once the funds have been cleared, they are yours to withdraw if you wish.
Free bets: Another popular means of drawing in new customers is by offering free bets. This works much in the same way deposit bonuses work. You sign up for your new account, and the sportsbook offers to make your first $50 bet risk-free.
That means if you win, you win the bet and the money. But if you lose, you are credited with $50 in free bets. And as with the deposit bonus, there will be betting requirements before that $50 is released into your account as more than just a credit.
Loyalty and rewards programs: Not only do sportsbooks want your new business, they want your continued business. Not all casinos connect their sportsbooks to their currently offered rewards program, but some do, and those can become quite valuable if you plan to bet consistently.
Typically you earn points through wagers and dollar amounts. Those points move you up the tiers of the rewards programs, earning you even more points. And those points can then be used on free bets, retail sportsbook perks like food and drink, and free hotel stays and shows.
Be sure to explore your rewards program options before committing to one sportsbook over another.
Colorado sports betting FAQ
Is online sports gambling legal in Colorado?
Yes, the measure that Colorado lawmakers passed and the voting public approved does allow for legal online and mobile sports gambling throughout the state. To legally operate an online or mobile sportsbook in Colorado, an operator must apply for and receive an Internet Sports Betting Operator license from the state.
It is worth noting that even though Colorado does have legal casino gambling, online poker and other online casino games are not yet legal.
Are taxes owed on sports bets in Colorado?
All sports betting winnings are counted as income in the state of Colorado. The vast majority of the taxes that will be raised through sports betting in Colorado will be paid by the sportsbook operators. But sports bettors are legally required to declare their winnings to the IRS.
Is DraftKings legal in Colorado?
Yes. In 2016 Colorado legalized daily fantasy sports, and DraftKings began operating in the state. And now, in 2020, with the full legalization of sports betting in Colorado, DraftKings is expanding its services to include an online and mobile sportsbook.
What is the legal gambling age in Colorado?
Colorado allows those 18 and over to participate in the state lottery and bingo games, but you must be at least 21 to gamble in the casinos or place bets on sports and horse racing.
How many legal casinos are located in Colorado?
When Colorado legalized gambling in 1991, casino operations were limited to the three mountain towns of Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek. Today there are 33 casinos operating in those three cities (Black Hawk and Central City are near Denver, and Cripple Creek isn’t far from Colorado Springs), and another two tribal casinos are open and operating in the western part of the state.