The state of Colorado is not considered a hotbed of sports by most sports fans throughout the country, but don’t tell that to residents of Denver. The capital city of Colorado is home to four extremely popular and successful professional teams, and the fans show up in droves to support their teams. The topic of legalizing sports betting has been making its rounds throughout states all across the country and it has been widely debated in the state of Colorado as well. Sports fans in Denver would love to be able to place bets on their favorite teams while watching the games, and that might soon become a possibility. There are 14 states in the country that have legalized some form of sports betting, and it appears that Colorado is set to join the party. The decision will be left up to the voters of the state, but if sports fans show up to the polls like they do to Mile High Stadium then it should pass with great ease.
AT A GLANCE
Status of Betting AT A GLANCE: The status of legalizing sports betting in the state of Colorado will be up to the voters in November. Previous attempts to expand gambling throughout the state, but Colorado legislators are trying to sell the citizens on the potential of adding revenue. The state has a plan in place to move forward, but they need the approval of Colorado residents before it becomes legal.
Where to Bet AT A GLANCE: Gambling in Colorado is currently limited to three mountain towns, and that’s not going to change with this new bill. There are 33 casinos in the state of Colorado, but they aren’t spread out throughout the state as in other places. There is hope to legalize mobile and online betting as well, and that could make things much easier for the majority of Colorado residents.
Teams AT A GLANCE: The state of Colorado is blessed to have a team in each of the major four professional sports. All of the teams are located in the capital city of Denver, but their popularity extends throughout the state. The Denver Broncos are without a doubt the most popular, but all of the teams draw extremely well when they are playing at home.
Status of Sports Betting
As states all across the country have begun discussing of legalizing sports betting, it was just a matter of time before it got brought up in Colorado. A group of seven lawmakers put a bill on the table in April 2019 to get the ball rolling on sports betting within the state. The proposed law titled House Bill 19-1327 would put the matter on the ballot in November and give the residents of the state the right to choose whether or not to legalize sports betting in a limited capacity. The Senate approved the bill, and the governor has signed it meaning that it will officially appear on the ballot in November.
It is unclear whether or not this referendum will pass as similar efforts to expand gambling throughout the Mile High State has failed in the past. If it does get approved by voters then the hope is that sports betting will go live sometime around May 2020. The proposed law would charge a 10 percent tax on sports betting revenue, with that money being used to fund several projects throughout the state. If approved, there would be a limited number of sports betting licenses available, and mobile and online betting would be legalized as well.
If this law passes in November, it’s not like people throughout the state would see much difference. Gambling in Colorado will remain limited to just three towns, and it’s unclear just how many casinos are going to apply for one of these licenses. The legal gambling age for live sports betting would be 21 just as it is for horse racing and casino games. There is currently a provision that allows gambling among friends in Colorado, but things could change drastically if the voters legalize sports betting in November. Keep an eye on the news coming out of Colorado this fall to get more information about this topic.
Where to Bet Sports
The state of Colorado doesn’t have a shortage of casinos in their state, but all of them are packed into three mountainous towns. There are 33 casinos in Colorado and each of them will be given the opportunity to obtain licenses to offer sports betting. Instead of focusing on the individual casinos in Colorado, it is more prudent to look at the three towns that will be allowed to take bets on sports. There is also hope that online and mobile betting will be legalized throughout the state and that should make things easier for most sports betting fans.
Black Hawk: The town of Black Hawk, Colorado has a population of just 118 people, but it soon might become one of the most popular spots in the state. There are 17 casinos located in the small town of Black Hawk and there is no doubt that a large majority of these casinos are going to apply for a license to offer sports betting. Black Hawk has turned into a tourist destination within the state, and they might see a large spike in visitors come May 2020 if this law passes in November. There are also five hotels in the town which makes traveling to this remote destination much easier.
Central City: Central City is located just down the road from Black Hawk, but has about 600 more people that reside in the town. There are six casinos within the Central City limits, but some of them are extremely popular throughout the state. There aren’t as many places to stay in Central City, but there is a shuttle that can take sports bettors back to Black Hawk for the night. Central City is growing quickly and they might need to expedite that expansion. This is another town that should see a huge boost in visitors and revenue if sports betting becomes legal in the state of Colorado.
Cripple Creek: Cripple Creek might be the most attractive option for sports betting fans, because it is just 44 miles from Colorado Springs. There is close to 2,000 people in this city, and there are other things to do besides visit the casinos. 10 casinos are currently in operation in Cripple Creek and most of them are open 24/7. There are some big name operations located in this town, and they should have the ability to offer online sportsbooks as well if that becomes an option for the casinos. Wildwood Casino and McGill’s Hotel and Casino are two of the most popular spots in town.
Online/Mobile Betting: Since all of the casinos are located within the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, it isn’t extremely easy for many sports fans to get there. The state is hoping to offer online or mobile betting which could make things easier for a majority of the residents. Mobile betting will give fans a chance to place bets while attending games at one of the major sports stadiums in Denver, and this has been the favorite betting option in other states where sports betting is legalized. It will likely take some time for this operation to get off the ground, but many sports fans would probably agree that it is worth the wait.
Colorado Casinos Making Money: The Denver Post recently reported that Colorado casinos brought in over $842 million in 2018, which would set a new mark for the state. The state saw a 1.4 percent increase from the reported totals in 2017, and a 13 percent increase since the year 2014. While the majority of that money remains with the casinos themselves, Colorado did bring in over $9 million in gambling taxes, which is what the lawmakers are trying to sell to their residents. The new sports betting law would charge a 10 percent tax on all bets made, which would bring in even more money.
Survey Shows Lack of Betting Support: If the sports betting bill is going to get passed in November then the state is going to have some work to do in rallying support. BettingUSA conducted a survey from June 2-5 and found that just 29 percent of voters would support a new sports betting bill. However, the survey does note that 40 percent of people questioned were still undecided on the issue. Of the people surveyed, men were seen as more likely to vote yes than women, and people over 45 years of age were expected to vote no. Colorado still has some time to change some opinions, but they have work to do.
Sports Betting Could Solve Colorado Water Issue: A lot of Colorado residents are wondering where the new revenue would go, and it appears that a majority of it would go to help solve the water crisis. Colorado’s Water Plan was organized in 2015, but the plan is in need of some more funds to really get off the ground. Not all of the money from sports betting would go directly into funding the plan, but lawmakers agree that it would be a huge help. Look for Colorado lawmakers to use this as a selling point as they try to convince voters to vote for the sports betting law on the ballot in November.
Sports Teams That Drive Betting
Denver, Colorado is the home to four major professional sports franchises, and the whole state has fallen in love with these teams. There haven’t been a ton of championships celebrated by these teams throughout the years, but they are all extremely popular. All four teams should help drive sports betting if the vote passes in November.
The Denver Nuggets are the NBA team that is located in Colorado, and they have had some periods of great success in their history. The Nuggets were founded as the Denver Rockets in 1967, and joined the NBA as the Nuggets in 1976. They play their home games at the Pepsi Center in downtown Denver, and their home games are well attended. The Nuggets will definitely help drive sports betting if it becomes legal in the state.
The Denver Broncos are without a doubt the most popular team in Colorado, and their participation in the National Football League should play a huge role in sports betting. The NFL is on board with sports betting, and the Broncos will be a popular team to bet on throughout the state. The Broncos have struggled of late, but they are still a very proud NFL franchise.
There is also a Major League Baseball presence in Colorado as the Rockies have called the city of Denver home since 1993. The Rockies have one of the best home field advantage in baseball at Coors Field, and they draw extremely well. Major League Baseball has tried to keep betting out of its game for quite some time, but the Rockies will help drive betting in Colorado.
The state of Colorado was able to land an NHL team in 1995 when the Avalanche came to the capital city of Denver. The Avalanche were able to win the Stanley Cup in their first season in Denver, and have been extremely popular throughout the state ever since. Hockey isn’t always big throughout the country, but that’s not the case in Colorado.
The two biggest universities in the state of Colorado are the University of Colorado and Colorado State University. These two teams have built up a great rivalry throughout the years, but neither of them has been very successful of late. Betting on college games hasn’t really gained as much traction in the United States, but that might not be the case in Colorado.
Colorado probably isn’t known as a great sporting state by most folks across the country, but they are one of the lucky states to have a team in each of the major professional sports. Denver plays host to all of those teams, but the whole state is on board with these teams. There will be plenty of action on each of these four teams if and when sports betting becomes legal in Colorado.
Casino Legal Status: There are 33 casinos currently in operation in Colorado, but the referendum failed in 2014 that would have allowed for more casinos to be operated throughout the state.
Sports Betting Legal Status: Sports betting in Colorado is technically “legal” at this time, but it will be up to the voters to decide if the state moves forward with the plan at sometime in 2020.
Horse Racing Legal Status: You must be 21 years of age to place bets on horse racing in the state of Colorado, and all of those bets must be made in person at one of the 33 casinos in the state.
Poker Legal Status: Poker is illegal in the state of Colorado, but there are a few exceptions to this law. Social poker tournaments are deemed as legal, but certain stipulations have to be met.
DFS Legal Status: Playing DFS is illegal in Colorado at this time, because it is illegal to place bets on sports through a mobile or online device.
Lottery Legal Status: The state of Colorado operates the lottery throughout the state, and it is possible to play the lottery through a mobile device.
Sports Betting Timeline
- May 1, 2020: Sports Betting would become legal if referendum passes
- November 2019: Referendum to legalize sports betting to be voted on
- May 29, 2019: Governor Polis signs betting bill into law
- May 3, 2019: Senate passes sports betting bill
- April 18, 2019: Lawmakers introduce sports betting bill