This is an exciting time for the Centennial State. In November 2019, Colorado voters made it official and legalized sports betting with the approval of Proposition DD. The Colorado Division of Gaming is in charge of regulating all sports betting activities.
Colorado’s legal gambling history is relatively recent, beginning in 1990. The first casino was opened in 1991. This legalization was in large part an attempt to bring vitality back to the towns of Cripple Creek, Black Hawk and Central City.
If you haven’t visited these cities before, you might understand why they needed a little love — they’re located way up in the mountains, and while they’re beautiful places to visit, they have very few permanent residents, and without tourist income, these towns might have faded away.
You must be 21 or older to bet on sports, and you can’t have any close affiliation with any sports teams, same as in other legal states. If you do have some sort of affiliation with a sports team, you need to check with the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission to ensure you’re not violating the law.
Violating the law may result in penalties, fines or even prison time, so make sure you check with the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission first.
When it comes to online sports betting, let’s say on an app, you don’t have to be a citizen of Colorado, but you must be within state lines.
The same is true for all in-person gambling, whether you’re betting on a horse race at Arapahoe Park or you’re betting at one of the many casinos in Cripple Creek, Black Hawk or Central City — you don’t have to be a citizen of Colorado or even a U.S. citizen to gamble there.
Here is a breakdown of how sports betting is regulated in Colorado.
There are three types of gambling license available for sports betting in Colorado: a master license, sports betting operator and internet sports betting operator. If you’re betting in person or at an online gambling website, it’s probably the case that the owner has one of the licenses.
Casinos in Colorado already have a limited gaming license. Therefore, they are the only entities that may get a master license. A license fee and background check are required. The other two licenses are for retail sportsbook operators and internet sportsbooks operators.
Casinos can then team up with these sportsbooks that have the proper license.
Here is the information an entity must give to apply for a license, according to the Sports Betting Rules and Regulations that were approved by the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission:
- An applicant for any type of license must apply on forms provided by the Division. Such application forms shall be completed under penalty of perjury. The application forms may include questions concerning the following:
- Personal background information;
- Licensing background;
- Organizational information;
- Financial information;
- Participation in legal or illegal activities in Colorado or other jurisdictions, including foreign countries;
- Criminal record information;
- Information concerning all pecuniary and equity interests in the applicant; and
- Other information as required
“The application forms shall be accompanied and supplemented by such documents and information as may be specified or required.
“Failure to supply the information requested within five days after the request has been made by the Division constitutes grounds for delaying consideration of the application.”
Where sports betting can take place in Colorado
Aside from being able to place sports wagers at licensed casinos in Colorado, you can also place wagers on apps and websites. However, as was pointed out earlier, you must use these online wagering options within the borders of Colorado.
Don’t try to disguise your IP address or anything like that. There are many methods by which you can trick a website into thinking you’re actually in Colorado when you’re not, by spoofing your location or using a proxy website, but this may get you banned from the website.
Sports you can bet on
You can bet on teams, one-on-one matches and international matches at the level of professional sports. Betting on college sports is also legal. However, you can’t bet on high school sports.
Unauthorized sports betting
This is directly from the Sports Betting Rules and Regulations of Colorado:
“1.3 Unauthorized sports betting. 2 (1) No licensee shall conduct or permit on its premises or through any online or electronic means any sports betting, except sports betting which is conducted according to all the Rules and Regulations promulgated by the Commission, or the laws and regulations governing other betting activities which are licensed or approved by an agency of the State of Colorado.
“(2) No person shall make any unauthorized wager or conduct any sports betting activity on its premises or through any online or electronic means unless in accordance with the act, the Rules and Regulations promulgated by the Commission, or the laws and regulations governing other betting activities which are licensed or approved by an agency of the State of Colorado.
“(3) No licensee shall conduct or permit on its premises or through any online or electronic means any sports betting on a high school sports event, a video game that is not sanctioned by a sports governing body or equivalent as an electronic competition, or proposition bets on collegiate sports events; and
“(4) No sports bet shall be accepted from a person under the age of twenty-one years, that does not originate in the State of Colorado, and that does not conform to the laws or Regulations.”
There is no cap on the amount you can wager on sports betting. Many sportsbooks will require a deposit up front. Once your deposit is accepted, you may then place your wager.
Sports betting tax
As far as sports betting is concerned, there is a 10% tax on casinos. This tax could make up to an estimated $29 million per year. This money would go toward the Colorado Water Plan for the most part.
Other concerns that this tax money would go toward are community colleges and gambling addiction services.