Colorado Division Of Gaming Investigating Barstool Sportsbook NFL Draft Bets

Written By Nicole Russo on May 11, 2022
Dave Portnoy Barstool

There’s a new Barstool Sportsbook investigation in Colorado making headlines. Late last month, a prominent Colorado sports bettor went on record detailing an issue he had with Barstool Sportsbook regarding placing wagers on the NFL Draft.

The story caused a lot of chatter on social media about the ethics of what the sportsbook did, and now the Colorado Division of Gaming is investigating the issue. Barstool Sportsbook Founder Dave Portnoy commented on the issue earlier Wednesday, and he didn’t have a lot of nice things to say.

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James Salinas Details Barstool CO Dispute On VSiN

James Salinas is an avid sports bettor and co-host of the Pro Football Blitz on VSiN (Vegas Stats & Information Network).

On April 23, VSiN posted a clip on Twitter of Salinas detailing his experience trying to place multiple NFL Draft wagers at Barstool Sportsbook inside Ameristar Black Hawk Casino.

barstool sportsbook investigation

In the clip, Salinas said he heard some information that made him want to bet Kayvon Thibodeaux to go No.2 overall to the Detroit Lions. Thibodeaux’s odds at that position were +300, +350, and +400 at various Colorado online sportsbooks, so Salinas bet a dime ($1,000) on those odds at all three books.

Then, Salinas said he traveled “up the hill” about 30 minutes to check out the odds at retail sportsbooks in Black Hawk. The issue he talks about came when he got to Barstool Sportsbook inside Ameristar Casino.

Salinas said he went to the counter and asked the representative what the book’s limits were on the draft and the rep replied, “We will take whatever you bet. What are you going to fire?”

Salinas attempted to wager $3,000 on Thibodeaux to go top five at +100 as well as $1,000 on Thibodeaux to go No. 2 overall at +350.

“They’re racking the money. They’re counting out the money. They put the ticket out there. They don’t hand me the ticket yet. Before they hand me the ticket they say, ‘Oh, we’re going to need your ID.’ Fine. Alright. I’m an old guy, I’m sure this isn’t about being 21 or not but I will let you look at my ID,” Salinas recalled. “They said, ‘Strictly a formality. We’re going to run through the process and we’ll be able to make the transaction and you’ll go on your way.'”

Based on what Salinas details next, it wasn’t just a formality.

Barstool Sportsbook Won’t Accept The Bets

Here’s where things get tricky. After this back and forth, Salinas says the employees come back saying they are going to have to limit the size of his bets to $800 on Thibodeaux to go top-five and $500 on Thibodeaux to go top-two overall.

He agreed to the new wager limits, and then he says the employee also tells him the lines have changed.

Instead of getting Thibodeaux to go top five at +100, the line is now -129. The +350 odds on Thibodeaux to go top two are now +250. Salinas told the employees to give him his money back. In case you missed it, Thibodeaux ended up being selected fifth overall by the New York Giants.

Most people on social are upset with Barstool over two key components of the story:

  1. The sportsbook printed Salinas’ ticket, which normally indicates the transaction is “complete” in the system
  2. The sportsbook accepted the money but changed the odds before handing Salinas the ticket, instead of changing the odds for these markets on any future bets he made

The Colorado Division of Gaming announced on Friday, April 29 that it was currently investigating the issue. They have not made any further comment about what took place, but on May 11, Dave Portnoy gave his take.

Dave Portnoy Responds To Barstool Sportsbook Investigation

This week on the Dave Portnoy Show, one of the topics was the current investigation by the Colorado Division of Gaming.

“F**k that guy. F**k that guy. It’s the Draft. There’s all sorts of inside information,” said Portnoy. “A casino is in it to make money. This wasn’t a game that was just a normal line. He was literally driving around to different casinos trying to get as much action on what he thought was inside…or information on the draft. So they take his license, they see that probably he is a sharp, and they want to limit him.”

Colorado sports betting rules and regulations are listed on this site. There has been no ruling on whether or not the Colorado Division of Gaming has found fault in the Barstool Sportsbook investigation.

barstool sportsbook investigation

Photo by Associated Press
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Nicole Russo

Nicole Russo is the Brand Content Strategist for Previously, she covered the gambling industries in Tennessee and Indiana as a content editor for and She comes from the world of poker, leading the marketing efforts for online poker in Nevada and New Jersey with the WSOP. Russo also assisted with the marketing efforts for the Caesars Sportsbook launch in 2019.

View all posts by Nicole Russo