19 was the lucky number concerning Colorado online sports betting. This state was the 19th to make changes relating to the historic ban on sports betting from within Colorado borders. But this all changed in May 2020, which is when the law was passed to support sports betting across the entire state. Unlike other states, Colorado went in with both feet too, allowing online sports betting and retail sports betting from that point on. Other states have tried to do it in stages, whereas Colorado has managed to facilitate a legendary industry launch.
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And perhaps most impressively, there are more Colorado sports betting sites than any other state in North America. The reason for this is simple. Like other states, Colorado needs a betting brand to partner up with physical casinos in the state to obtain a license. But here’s the kicker – Colorado has close to three dozen physical casinos, showing an amazingly enticing market for potential brands. That’s why all of the big names have flocked to Colorado since laws were changed, including DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, PointsBet, Betfred, FoxBet, TheScore, and many others.
Fair to say, there has never been a more exciting time regarding sports betting in Colorado.
Latest updates on Colorado sports betting
Sports bettors in Colorado placed more than half a billion dollars in wagers in January, setting a record, according to data released by the Department of Revenue.
The total handle in the state was reported as $573.7 million for January 2022, easily eclipsing the previous mark of $491.5 million set in October 2021. This makes Colorado just the seventh state to pass $500 million in sports betting handle in a single month.
Despite the record handle, sportsbooks in Colorado paid a high price to earn that action, according to the official report from the state. Gross gaming revenue was $34.6 million, and after promotional credits and deductions were removed that total slipped to $11.7 million. That’s the figure that is taxed, bringing in more than $1.4 million to the State of Colorado in January.
Since launching sports betting in May of 2020, Colorado has received more than $16.1 million in tax revenue from sportsbooks.
Date: March 1, 2022
The journey towards the legalization of sports betting in Colorado dates all the way back to 1991. At least that’s when the first physical casinos were lawfully permitted in the state, and these days, it’s these casinos that allow partnerships to form with online betting brands. Fast forward to the current environment, sports betting has been a 100% legal activity since May 2020. With so many physical casinos located in Colorado, and therefore so many licenses being available, the surge of Colorado online sports betting has just been off the scale.
In fact, in September 2021, Colorado sportsbooks took in more than $22 million in wagers, and this generated over $400 million for the state in the form of taxes. This put Colorado fifth on the leaderboard in terms of highest-grossing states by revenue for sports betting. Pretty staggering, right? And believe it or not, November 2021 saw almost $500 million in sports wagers placed! That’s a difference of almost $100 million within just two months, which tells you all you need to know about the state of the Colorado betting industry.
Is sports betting legal in Colorado for online wagers?
Yes, and this has been true ever since legislation was passed in May 2020. However, while the approval of the bill itself was significant back then, it was the fine print of the bill that really stood out. Not only would the bill allow for sports betting to become legal, but it would also allow it to be done through all available channels. This means that on legislation alone, Colorado is one of the most flexible and accessible states for sports betting. However, this doesn’t mean that any old betting brand can come in and set up shop.
They still need to partner with physical casinos, which are available in abundance! But coming back to the bill that was put forward to congress, this actually occurred back in November 2019. At least that’s when the bill was voted on and subsequently passed. And this demanded the launch of Colorado online sports betting on May 1st, 2020.
Where to bet on sports in Colorado?
According to the terms of the sports betting bill for this state, residents in Colorado are legally allowed to place bets provided they are over the age of 21 and a Colorado resident. If someone meets these conditions, there are two subsequent ways in which to place sports bets:
This is the most convenient way of all. Online betting can be done through Colorado sports betting apps, as well as via desktop sites. The reason this is so convenient is that you can pick a platform and register for an online betting account within minutes. And assuming you keep your phone on you, this means you have constant access to the betting markets.
Online sports betting might be convenient, but nothing beats the atmosphere of wagering within a retail sportsbook. And in Colorado, any physical casino can open a sports betting section of their site if desired. Currently, there are 33 physical casinos in the state, but only 15 have set up a physical sportsbook as part of their offerings. Most of these are located within three places too – Cripple Creek, Central City, and Black Hawk.
Online sportsbooks available now in Colorado
At the time of writing, there are 25 different Colorado sports betting sites currently in operation. Needless to say, you are spoilt for choice if you are based in this state. Without further ado, we’d like to give you a very quick overview for each one:
BetMGM was the best prepared of them all, launching on the very first day that sports betting was approved in Colorado – May 1st, 2020. Not only this, BetMGM has one of the best Colorado sports betting apps around, and they are partnered with Midnight Rose Casino. As for the welcome bonus, there is a $1,000 risk-free bet on the table.
DraftKings has branched out into numerous states across the US, including Colorado. These guys obtained a license via Mardi Gras Casino, and they went live on day one – May 1st, 2020. And for those that are interested, DraftKings has a $1,000 risk-free bet available for new signups.
Bally Bet Sportsbook
Bally Bet went live in May 2021, making it a newcomer compared to some of the other sites. It’s partnered with three physical casinos, and the current welcome bonus includes a $100 free bet (no deposit) and a $550 risk-free bet.
Fancy a shot at a risk-free wager of up to $1,000? That’s on the table for brand new Barstool Sportsbook customers. This site went live in August 2021, and the partner is Ameristar Casino. Thanks to this partnership, there is also a Barstool branded sportsbook at the Ameristar Casino.
Betfred is enormous in the UK, but it is still just a baby in the US. Specifically for Colorado, Betfred launched in September 2020, just a few months after sports betting went live. Betfred is partnered with Saratoga Casino, and the online platform offers new players a $500 first wager match, win or lose.
BetMonarch went live in May 2020, clearly wasting no time following the regulatory changes. It has a great app and it is somewhat unique because BetMonarch has its very own physical casino in Colorado – Monarch Casino. Sadly, there is no sign-up offer for this site.
Partnering with JP McGills Casino, BetRivers managed to launch on day one of sports betting approval in Colorado. This puts them on a par with other sites like BetMGM, which is impressive. And currently, BetRivers has a $250 deposit match available for new customers.
Betway is another site with a risk-free bet for new players, this time with a maximum insurance promise of $250. Betway launched April 2021 in partnership with the Famous Bonanza Casino, and Colorado marks the fourth state where Betway now operates.
As it happens, BetWildWood has the exact same welcome bonus as Betway, mentioned above. So if you sign up with this site you can grab a $250 risk-free bet right off the bat. BetWildWood has launched under its own umbrella, as licensed through the Wildwood Casino, and it went live in July 2020.
Circa Sports Sportsbook
Circa Sports managed to go live just two months after the bill was passed, in July 2020. Century Casinos have partnered with Circa Sports to facilitate this. But in terms of new customer incentives, there aren’t any.
Red Dolly Casino handed its licensing rights out to Elite Sportsbook and the site launched in August 2020. An app is available for both Android and iOS, and these guys let you take a free swing at any market up to $500 after signing up.
As you may have guessed, FoxBet was formed through the major TV Network, Fox. This betting site is powered thanks to a deal struck with Lady Luck Casino, and FoxBet has both a desktop site and mobile apps. It also gives new customers a shot at a $500 risk-free wager, so you’ve nothing to lose by registering.
MaximBet went live through a partnership with Johnny Nolan’s Casino, back in September 2020. The site is pretty immense too, offering betting offerings on more than 10,000 events every month. There is also a first deposit bonus of up to $1,000 for new players.
Caesars Sportsbook is one of the biggest betting platforms in the US right now, although they only launched in August 2021 in Colorado under two licensing deals (Isle and Lady Luck Casino). New customers who sign up here will get Up To $1,250 On Caesars + 1000 Tier Credits + 1000 Reward Credits®! That’s not all, existing customers can then explore some of the best reload bonuses in the game.
Seeing as it is one of the most notable sports betting brands on the planet, you can count on its security and dependability. Bet365 Colorado operates under a license from the Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Gaming.
As for the betting itself, there are over 30 sports and hundreds of competitions for you to place your bets on. Your bets can be any variations of Moneyline, props, futures, and many other options.
By choosing Colorado Bet365, you ensure that you will have an excellent time placing bets on your favorite sports. Bet365 provides endless entertainment on a completely secure platform, with excellent additional perks through the Bet365 Colorado referral code.
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On May 1st, 2020, FanDuel Sportsbook opened its doors in Colorado. This was big news given the scale of this brand, and the partnership has been formed through Golden Gates Casino here. Of course, with FanDuel being such a big brand, the sign-up bonus follows suit – a $1,000 risk-free bet!
PlayMaverick is one of the only Colorado sports betting apps that has two separate welcome deals. You can grab a 100% match on your first deposit worth as much as $300 plus a first bet match equal to the same value. That’s pretty awesome, and PlayMaverick has been able to set this up through a partnership with Maverick Gaming – its parent company. The site has been live since March 2021.
PlayUp USA isn’t yet a well-known brand across the country, but these guys are certainly doing well in Colorado. PlayUp launched back in March 2021 alongside Durham Casino, and PlayUp as a company is actually from Australia. New player sign-ups can benefit from a $250 risk-free bet when signing up here.
PointsBet is a platform that specializes in spread betting, something quite unique in Colorado. But at the same time, they do offer fixed odds betting, and PointsBet has a license through its partnership with Double Eagle Casino, launching in November 2020. New customers can make the most of a $500 risk-free bet for fixed-odds betting, and a sensational $1,500 risk-free bet for spread betting.
Bronco Billy’s Casino snapped up a deal with SBK Sportsbook not long after legislation was changed, and the site went live in June 2020. These guys are owned and operated by Smarkets, a betting exchange based in the UK. And currently, if you sign up with these guys you’ll get a $20 risk-free bet following your first deposit.
Sky Ute Sportsbook
With fantastic odds and a leading mobile app, Sky Ute Sportsbook is an enticing betting site that has launched through its own casino – Sky Ute Casino Resort. They launched back in June 2020, although at the time of writing, there is no welcome bonus.
Sports Illustrated Sportsbook
The Colorado Grande Casino enabled Sports Illustrated to go live back in September 2021. Of course, this is part of the Sports Illustrated brand as a whole, and would you know it – this site is owned and operated by the same company as 888 Sports. These guys are huge on a global scale, and the welcome bonus here is pretty awesome, with $300 in free bets following a $10 deposit.
SuperBook USA Sportsbook
SuperBook USA is actually approaching a birthday at the time of writing, having launched in January 2021. The Lodge Casino is the physical location that has enabled this license, and SuperBook USA has recently increased its sign-up deal to entice new players. Instead of the previous $300 deposit boost, you can now grab a $500 boost.
Tipico Sportsbook is still a bit of a newcomer, launching only in August 2021. Century Casinos partnered with Tipico Sportsbook to bring this platform to life, and the mobile betting experience here is pretty awesome. The app is lightning fast, offering both pre-match and live betting, as well as a $750 risk-free bet for new customers.
TheScoreBet has pulled in the punters massively since launching in September 2020. The Gilpin Casino is the underlying partner here, and their influence has no doubt helped to establish the solid mobile app we see for this brand. TheScoreBet is also issuing a deposit match of up to $1,000 for brand new customers.
WynnBet is the final sportsbook, launching in November 2020 in partnership with Bronco Billy’s Casino. Without question, WynnBet offers one of the top Colorado sports betting apps in the state, and with the WynnBet promo code new customers can grab a $1,000 risk-free bet.
What about legal online sports betting apps?
At this point, you have already read that all Colorado sports betting sites and apps must have a licensing arrangement through a physical casino in order to operate. However, only 25 betting sites are operational in Colorado right now, meaning that there is still a little wiggle room for other brands to enter the state. And for clarity, any betting site that launches typically does so alongside a betting app, in accordance with Colorado sports betting laws.
Most of the sports betting apps in the state are available for both iOS and Android. And when using the app, there are certain conditions you need to meet. When making any bet, you have to be based within Colorado state borders. Each and every app uses geolocation software to detect this. So while yes, mobile betting provides freedom of location, it only does so to a certain degree.
Online Sports Betting Sites that could soon come to Colorado
Remember what we said about a few licensing deals still being up for grabs? Well, some brands have already made moves. And for that reason, we are confident that the following brands are planning to emerge as a Colorado sports betting platform very soon:
Dostal Alley Casino is a name we haven’t yet discussed, and there is a reason for that. This physical casino took quite some time to welcome an online betting brand under their umbrella. But now, it is confirmed that Dostal Alley Casino has teamed up with Betsson Sportsbook. However, much like the other sites, a specific date to go live hasn’t yet been made public.
While we do know that BlueBet has engaged in talks with the powers that be to launch in Colorado, no deal has been struck as far as we know. That means that compared with the other two brands mentioned above, BlueBet will likely launch a little later than most punters would like.
Other things you should know about online sports betting sites in Colorado
Opening new sports betting account in Colorado
Colorado was quite a forward-thinker concerning player registration for sports betting. Other states in the US would require players to sign-up in person before making any bets. But with the instant and striking changes made to sports betting laws, online sports betting in Colorado became widely adopted. That’s why Colorado punters can now get started with a few taps of the screen through all major Colorado sports betting sites. After providing details such as your SSN, address, full name, and date of birth, you’ll be good to go.
In order to actually create an online betting account, you must be over the age of 21 and be based in Colorado. There is a standard verification process at all betting sites too, where you must provide evidence of such details.
What kind of welcome bonus can you get with a Colorado sports betting operator?
As you’ve no doubt seen above, welcome bonuses do vary from site to site. These incentives are given as a way to attract punters in the first place. And in short, the bigger the bonus, the more you can get out of the blocks quickly. That’s why we would highly recommend that you get started with a site such as PointsBet. These guys have the biggest sign-up offer in the entire state, with $2,000 in risk-free bets on the table.
It’s even better that these funds are split between two separate products – fixed odds and spread betting. But while this is the current deal for PointsBet, we’d still like to explain the various sign-up deals to ensure you understand them fully:
It’s normal to feel a bit of apprehension when you see a deal advertised as being ‘risk-free’. But don’t worry, there is a reason for this. Basically, a risk-free bet means you can wager as much as the stated maximum with full confidence that if the bet loses, you’ll be reimbursed.
The thing about risk-free bets is that they can often be tailored to specific sports or markets. However, if you see a deposit match bonus, this means you can double your money (100% match) and then use the bonus funds to bet on whatever you like. These are less restrictive in terms of what you can bet on, but playthrough conditions often apply.
Taking a punt on your first sports bet is always a thrill. But if you can grab a sign-up bonus where the betting site also throws in some cash, what’s not to love? These bonuses are listed as bet matches, and basically, by betting more thanks to the boost from the site, your potential returns then become more. Of course, the bet still needs to win if you are to see any true benefits from these bonuses.
From time to time, certain Colorado online sports betting platforms will mix things up a bit. Rather than the traditional sign-up bonuses discussed above, they might give an enhanced odds offer. These offers let you boost the odds of your bet, adding to a greater potential return. Sometimes, sites will even double the odds of your first wager!
Brick-and-Mortar Casinos where you can place sports bets
Colorado is loaded with a range of brick-and-mortar casinos. After all, that’s why there are so many Colorado sports betting sites currently in operation. There are actually more than 30 physical betting locations in Colorado, most of them located in Century City, Black Hawk, or Cripple Creek. There are even an additional couple of tribal casinos in other areas of the state, although these haven’t been quite as welcoming towards the sports betting regulation changes.
But needless to say, with so many brick-and-mortar locations available, retail sports betting is definitely highly accessible. Places such as Golden Gates, Lady Luck, Double Eagle, and Bronco Billy’s are good places to start!
Professional sports venues
The law is still somewhat murky regarding betting at professional sports venues. No law specifically bans this activity, but there isn’t really any law that promotes it either. That’s why betting at professional sports venues is not widespread whatsoever. But that’s not to say that it doesn’t exist – it certainly does. The biggest of them all is the betting facilities at the Empower Field Stadium, home of the Denver Broncos. Two brands currently have rights to provide betting services here – Betfred and BetMGM.
However, other brands such as FanDuel and PointsBet have managed to strike marketing deals with the likes of the Denver Broncos and Denver Nuggets. But these brands have yet to offer physical betting at these respective locations.
Betting on the most popular Colorado sports
With the Denver Broncos arguably being the most prestigious sports team in Colorado, it’s no great surprise that NFL is subsequently a hugely popular sport in this state. And even better, fans can now make sports bets at the Broncos Stadium thanks to BetMGM and Betfred. In terms of Colorado online sports betting for the NFL, you can bet on futures, moneyline, spreads, and so much more. Keep an eye out for bonuses when the Super Bowl comes around too!
It helps when a state has a successful professional sports team to drive interest in a sport. That’s where the Denver Nuggets enter the picture. This team is a successful NBA franchise, playing games out of the Pepsi Center. This means Colorado residents can easily head to games and watch them live, as well as bet on them at various online sites. Of course, the top sites cover all NBA games throughout the season too.
For professional baseball, it’s all about the Colorado Rockies in this state. This appropriately named baseball team has done okay over the years, and the team has been in action since 1993. They’ve even made a World Series appearance, losing out to the Boston Red Sox in 2007. They play their games at Coors Field, and if you want to bet on Rockies games or other MLB action, all reputable betting sites support such activity.
The NHL is another huge league in Colorado, driven thanks to the success story of the Colorado Avalanche. These guys have won the Stanley Cup twice, and if you want to bet on any of their games, PointsBet is the platform to do so. These guys are the active sponsor of the team, so you can get great odds and markets like moneyline, handicaps, and individual point scorers here. With that said, most Colorado sports betting apps let you bet on any game from the entire NHL season.
If you want to bet on MMA, we would recommend DraftKings. These guys are the official sponsor of the league, which is why you’ll get the best odds and promotions this way. And in terms of actual MMA betting action, there are usually several big fights each month. You can often bet on the method of victory, engage in round-by-round betting, or even make live bets via mobile apps.
If you’re a big sports fan, you’ll know that soccer is becoming big business in the US. Colorado even has its own professional MLS team, the Colorado Rapids. Of course, they are part of the Western Conference, and they have done okay over the years. And in terms of the MLS season as a whole, there are many games for you to bet on, including great in-play markets. You can even bet on who you think will win the league through the futures betting markets.
History of Colorado Sports Betting
Every state in the US that has now legalized sports betting has its own history regarding how this came to be. Colorado is no different, and we’d like to run through the roadmap that led to the current environment of online sports betting in Colorado as we know it. This journey began back in 2019, so we’d better start there!
2019 – step one
It’s funny – you’d think for a state like Colorado that has legalized many other activities that getting sports betting over the line would be a breeze. Sadly, this wasn’t the case. Physical casinos only started to operate in Colorado back in 1991, and back then, if you had asked the question of ‘is sports betting legal in Colorado’ the answer would have been a resounding no. The state took a very dim view of sports betting, and even the physical casinos were restricted to just a handful of locations in the Rockies.
However, in early 2019, Rep. Alec Garnett finally succumbed to pressure from his cabinet members and pushed forward a bill to change sports betting laws. His proposal would not receive acceptance until the very last day of the voting session.
2019 – step two
Getting the bill to be taken seriously was part one of the battle – part two would be the big hurdle. Once a bill is received by the powers that be in Colorado, it then goes to a vote to determine whether any further action will be taken. In November 2019, the bill received over 20,000 votes, which meant that the current laws could be changed. Colorado also had quite a complex taxing system, however, known as TABOR, which is a reason that legalizing sports betting would then drag on.
Since these votes were secured, yes, legislation could be changed, but it would be slow and somewhat painful. It took many months before Colorado would see real progress on the subject.
2020 – the legalization of sports betting
On May 1st, 2020, sports betting became a legal activity in Colorado. As you no doubt know, this wasn’t a great time to establish a huge launch for the industry. Many professional sports leagues actually ceased to operate due to global events. But regardless, since the law changes made it so easy for Colorado punters to register and set up online betting accounts, the industry did grow rapidly. At the same time, things were given a major boost when betting brands formed partnerships with professional teams.
Take PointsBet as an example – they swooped in and partnered with the Denver Nuggets, and FanDuel linked up with the Denver Broncos at a similar time. This drastically raised the profile of sports betting in the state.
2021 – consolidation
2020 was clearly a breakthrough year for the Colorado online sports betting market. Legalization itself was a fantastic move, but the friendly environment attracted many betting brands to come to the state. Unlike other states that required quite complex and expensive licensing arrangements, Colorado made things as easy as possible. And for that reason, we now have 25 live sportsbooks, with more on the horizon. Bear in mind that all of these providers have managed to launch within Colorado in the space of just 18 months, which is seriously impressive.
At the time of writing, Colorado is posting figures in excess of $400 million for the monthly handle too. That puts them at number five on the list of the biggest sports betting states by state revenue, of course, in the form of taxes. Since more betting brands are planning to launch in the state, we expect that these numbers will continue to grow too – especially if retail and professional sports venue betting starts to take off.