A bill legalizing sports gambling in Colorado will be on the ballot in November 2019. The bill, entitled H 1327, passed through the Colorado House and the Senate’s Finance and Appropriations committees in under two weeks.
If the public votes in favor of the bill, we could see legal sports gambling in the Rocky Mountain State by May of 2020.
What still needs to happen?
It will be up to the voters of Colorado to decide if they want to legalize sports gambling in their state.
But even if sports gambling is legalized in November, it could be restricted to the three mountainous towns (Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek) where gambling is already legal. According to the Colorado Gaming Association, the casinos in those towns will have the exclusive right to offer live sports betting, absent a new agreement.
The bill would allow for three different types of licenses, including a “Master license,” “Sports betting operator,” and “Internet sports betting operator.” The bill makes it possible for legislators to approve statewide mobile wagering, which would certainly overcome the difficulties of reaching those towns.
Voters established a reluctance to expand gambling beyond those towns with a 70 percent decision against a proposal to expand racetrack casinos in 2014.
But much has changed since then and Colorado is one of 22 states currently exploring the possibility of legalizing sports gambling to generate revenue.
Projected Colorado sports betting launch date
While sports gambling could technically still be legalized without voter approval, the ramifications of that type of decision without voter approval would be pervasive.
If the people vote in favor in November, Colorado sports betting could be legal next spring.