Last updated: June 1, 2020
Status: Legal as of May 2020.
ETA: Both offline and online sports wagering are legal (as of May 2020).
Sports betting in Colorado went live in May 2020. The Colorado sports betting bill, H 1327, was filed in April 2019 and cleared the house within two weeks. Within another week, it had passed through the Senate’s Finance and Appropriations Committees.
As the bill includes a tax rate of 10%, it must first receive voter approval before becoming law. This is due to a 1992 constitutional amendment that introduced a Taxpayer Bill of Rights. In short, any new tax rates must be approved by the electorate.
If approved, three types of licenses would be available: a master license, a sports betting operator’s license and an internet sports betting operator’s license. This could potentially pave the way for the state’s 33 casinos to become master license holders. They would then be able to partner with one land-based and one online operator and develop one online platform.
While generating extra money is one reason the bill has widespread support, there is also a desire to eliminate the black market for sports gambling that has sprung up all over the USA, especially online and via mobile applications.
In the early 1800s, the gold rush brought all sorts of characters to Colorado, and unregulated casinos started to appear. Prospectors and fur trappers were attracted to the gaming tables, and establishments such as Brown's Saloon were set up to cater for them. These venues were eventually outlawed, and casinos disappeared from the state.
Following the introduction of the Interstate Horse Racing Act of 1978, Colorado became one of many states to allow gambling on horse and greyhound racing.
In 1983, the Colorado lottery was launched. The first draw took place on April 23, with scratch cards also being available. The state joined the multi-state lottery network in 2001 when the Powerball game became available.
Casinos reappeared in 1991, but were only permitted at three locations: Black Hawk, Cripple Creek and Central City. Maximum stakes were set at just $5 and a curfew of 2:00 am was imposed. Compacts were also agreed for casinos to be opened on tribal lands in 1995.
Casino rules were relaxed in 2008, with each town allowed to vote on more liberal rules. This resulted in an increase in maximum stakes to $100 and the abolition of curfews.
Yes, as of May 2020.
Sports betting is controlled by the Colorado Gaming Association.
21 or over
Members of the public can bet on sports at land-based venues and also online from May 2020.
DraftKings are a licensee in Colorado and many other operators are due to follow suit.
It is legal and a number of operators are set to launch apps soon.
According to House Representative Alec Garnett, sports wagering could generate up to $20 million in state revenue per year.
A tax rate of 10% will apply to both brick-and-mortar facilities and to online operators.
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