|Is sports betting legal in Colorado?||No.|
|When will legal sports betting launch in CO?||Possibly by 2019 or 2020.|
|Can I bet on sports right now in Colorado?||Only with illegal operators.|
|Is there a sports betting bill in CO?||Yes.|
The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for individual states to legalize sports gambling in 2018 when it struck down a federal ban on sports betting, otherwise know as PASPA.
While the movement may be relatively slow, Colorado appears on track to join the trend of states with legalized and regulated sports betting industries.
Colorado sports betting status
Colorado voters approved a constitutional amendment to allow three non-tribal gambling casinos 26 years ago, which could have implications for passing such legislation.
With Democratic Assemblyman Alec Garnett leading the charge, legislation should be on the table when the Colorado Assembly meets for sessions in 2019. A bill legalizing the industry may require two-thirds of legislators to approve a voter referendum, pushing back any decision to the 2019 election.
Colorado was one of the earliest states to legalize fantasy sports back in 2016, but sports gambling seems to have more opposition as a potential hot-button issue.
Peggi O’Keefe, the executive director of the Colorado Gaming Association, told local public radio that the association would like to only see sports gambling offered in the three towns with pre-existing casinos: Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek.
The owners of Colorado’s casinos, including David Farahi, have expressed some skepticism about introducing sports betting at their establishments.
Farahi is the president of the Colorado Gaming Association and the owner of Monarch Casino in Black Hawk. He also runs a casino in Reno with a sports book and knows how to provide experienced cost-benefit analysis when it comes to the sports gambling industry.
The casinos could be reluctant to incorporate an industry with profit margins below five percent, depending on the level of taxation agreed upon by legislators. Furthermore, the state’s horse track and casinos have butted heads over issues in the past, creating more potential road blocks.
While Colorado residents appear to be on board should a referendum become available ahead of the 2019 election, they could still have to wait until 2020 or beyond to place live bets on sporting events.
Sports Betting FAQ
When will sports betting be legal in Colorado?
It is unlikely for legislation regarding sports betting to be proposed prior to 2019. The sports gambling industry may not be operational until the following year, 2020, if approved by legislators and voters.
Where can I place sports bets in Colorado?
Part of the proposed legislation may stipulate that sports betting can only take place in the state’s three casinos. However, with so many travel complications possible in Colorado, mobile betting may be required for functionality.
Which sports teams could I bet on in Colorado?
It is unknown if residents would be able to bet on the state’s professional teams, but that would likely be allowed. They include the Denver Nuggets, Denver Broncos, Colorado Avalanche and Colorado Rockies.
Who would oversee Colorado sports betting?
The Colorado Gaming Association would likely oversee and regulate the industry, but nothing is set in stone until legislators craft a plan for sports gambling in Colorado.
Can I get into trouble for placing bets with unregulated online sportsbooks?
Yes, in order for a sportsbook to be legal it must be sanctioned by the state and placing bets with an unregulated bookkeeper can result in fines and potential jail time. While there’s yet to be an occurrence of this in the U.S., it’s still wiser (and safer) to wait and place your bets on regulated betting sites when they become legal.