Colorado is now part of the growing group of US states that offer legal sports betting. As of May 1, 2020, Colorado bettors can place their wagers on online betting apps. When Colorado casinos open back up, retail sports betting will follow.
For now, the only way to get started making bets in Colorado is by using either a computer or a mobile betting app on your Android or Apple device.
The easiest way to place sports bets in Colorado is using one of the apps designed for use on mobile phones. Most Colorado sportsbooks do not allow wagering through your phone’s browser, so you will have to download the app in order to bet for real money.
There are now six apps on the CO market:
More operators are ramping up and coming online over the rest of the year. Colorado received more than 50 applications for sports betting businesses and approved 33 of them in accordance with the current gambling laws in the state.
Mobile sports betting apps are free, as is signing up for an account. Each mobile sport betting site has its own app. If you are an iPhone user, you should be able to find the apps in the Apple App Store. If you are on an Android phone, you will need to download the app directly from the sportsbook websites. Google does not allow gambling apps in the Google Play Store.
Once players load the app and sign up for a free account, they can deposit from within the app and start betting.
When a new sports betting market opens up, the operators in the state go through great efforts to acquire customers. That is good news for sports bettors, as the betting apps will offer big deposit bonuses and other promotions just for signing up and depositing. Colorado is no different in this regard.
Free bets are the most common type of promotion for new sports betting customers, but there are also many online sportsbooks that offer sign-up bonuses. Most sports betting bonuses, like free bets and deposit match bonuses are only available for mobile and online customers. But retail Colorado sportsbooks also offer promotions from time to time.
Sports betting bonuses are a good way to place free bets or use a bigger bankroll than normal. But in the gambling world, nothing is really free. Gamblers need to closely read all of the terms and conditions for every free bet or deposit bonus they use.
Here’s how sports betting bonuses work:
Free bets: The most common and popular form of sports betting bonus or promotion is a free bet. A free bet is just what it sounds like. You get to make a bet for free and, if you win the bet, you get to keep the money in your account and use it to make more bets. If you lose the bet, it doesn’t cost you any money.
Free sports bets can be offered without a deposit, or they can be tied to making a deposit. Some online and mobile sports betting sites offer a free bet for anyone who signs up for a free account. Other sites and promotions require a deposit to earn free bets. Sometimes gamblers can find free bet promotions that award more than one free bet with a deposit.
The terms for free bets are usually quite strict, and players have to meet a series of clearing requirements before cashing out anything they win with a free bet.
Deposit bonuses: A deposit bonus is usually a percentage match on the amount of money a gambler deposits. Common deposit bonuses include a 100% match up to a set amount. A 100% match up to $200 gives you an extra $100 on a $100 deposit or an extra $200 on a $200 deposit, or an extra $200 on a $300 deposit.
Sports betting deposit bonuses are a good way for gamblers to increase their bankroll and offset the vig they have to pay on losing wagers. Every sports betting deposit bonus has requirements players must meet before they can request a withdrawal. Most clearing requirements are based on risking the amount of the bonus, or the total of the deposit and the bonus, a set number of times.
Here’s an example:
Say you deposit $100 and receive a $100 matching bonus. The bonus requirements state that you have to risk the total of the deposit and bonus 10 times before you can request a withdrawal. This means you have to make bets totaling at least $2,000 before making a withdrawal.
You can make bets of any size to meet the clearing requirements, as long as the total of all wagers equals at least $2,000 in this example. This can be 200 bets of $10 each, or 100 bets of $20 each, or any other combination that adds up to at least $2,000.
No-deposit bonuses: A no-deposit bonus works much like a free bet, but it isn’t limited to a set number of bets. A no-deposit sports betting bonus is a dollar amount that players can use to make any number of bets as long as they have money remaining in their account.
Here’s an example:
The sportsbook gives you a $100 no-deposit bonus. You can make one bet for $100, or 10 bets at $10 each or 20 bets at $5 each. And you can keep making bets with your winnings from previous bets until you run out of money.
The withdrawal restrictions on no-deposit bonuses are usually quite severe, so every gambler needs to be aware of them. Most no-deposit bonuses have a limit on how much you can cash out, and you are likely required to risk the bonus amount a large number of times before you can request a withdrawal.
Match bets: Match bets are rare, but they do pop up from time to time. A match bet is a wager the sportsbook matches. This type of match bet always has a limit. A sportsbook might offer a match bet up to $110. In this case, if you place a bet for $110, the sportsbook matches the bet and makes it the same as a $220 wager. But if you only bet $50, the sportsbook would match the $50, making it the same as a $100 wager.
Loss rebates: Loss rebates are also rare for online and mobile sportsbooks, so most bettors don’t need to worry about them. When a sports bettor gets a loss rebate, the sportsbook refunds a percentage of the total losses by the bettor over a set period of time. A loss rebate can be profitable for a smart sports bettor, but for most bettors, it’s simply a way the sportsbooks keep them making wagers.
Sports bettors have many options when it comes to making a deposit to make wagers.. Here’s a list of deposit options for betting on sports in Colorado.
Cash: Since all sports betting in Colorado has to be tied to a gambling business in the state, gamblers can walk into the casino or sportsbook they want to use and place a bet with cash. Some casinos might also let you use cash at the casino to fund your account on that property’s online betting app.
Credit and debit cards: Almost all sportsbooks in Colorado accept credit and debit cards, but players still occasionally have transactions declined. This is almost always because of the bank that issues the card and not the sportsbook. Many banks and credit cards are simply not comfortable funding gambling transactions. If a deposit is declined, try to use another card or contact the bank that issued the card to see why it declined the transaction.
ACH and bank wires: One of the safest ways to deposit to bet on sports in Colorado is to send money directly from a bank to the sportsbook. Bettors can use an ACH transfer, which is basically a transfer from a checking account to the sportsbook. Or bettors can send a bank wire from their bank to the sportsbook. Both of these methods basically work the same from the bettor’s side. However, be advised that there are often significant fees associated with bank wires.
E-wallets: E-wallets are a popular way to make deposits for mobile and online gambling. The most well-known e-wallet is PayPal. Others used for gambling transactions include Neteller and Skrill. The way e-wallets work is they’re attached to a bank account and work just like a bank account. The benefit of using e-wallets is you can send and receive money without risking the security of your bank account.
Checks and money orders: Every sportsbook has its own rules and regulations, but most of them accept checks and money orders to fund an account. Many establishments have a holding period for checks, so it’s often faster to use a money order or an ACH transfer from a checking account.
Withdrawal options vary from sportsbook to sportsbook, but generally, the same options used for deposits can be used for withdrawals. In many instances the method used for depositing is the required method for withdrawals. The most convenient, fastest and safest method once a player sets it up is an e-wallet. Deposits and withdrawals are usually instant, and gamblers can access their money using a debit card or by transferring it to their bank account.
Check the withdrawal options that any online or mobile sportsbook offers before making a deposit. Of course, gamblers who place bets in land based sportsbooks can cash in their winning tickets and walk out with cash.
If you live close to a land-based Colorado sportsbook or are traveling close to one, you can always just walk into the sportsbook and place your bets in person. However, first these retail sportsbooks will have to open.
Look at the available lines, decide on a team to bet on, walk up to the ticket window and exchange money for a bet slip. If the bet wins, exchange the bet slip for cash at the cashier or betting window.
There are three types of sports betting licenses available in Colorado.
The first type is a master license that’s only available to operations that currently have a license to conduct limited gaming. This restricts the current licenses to include only casinos operating in Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek.
The other two types of licenses are for retail sports betting operators and internet sports betting operators. The state collects a 10% tax on sports betting, be it retail or online.
The voters in Colorado passed Proposition DD in November 2019, paving the way for legalized sports betting to be offered in the state. After a few months of preparing, developing regulations and infrastructure, and issuing licenses, the industry launched on May 1.
Colorado’s launch will forever be remembered as the first to occur in a post-coronavirus world. With every Colorado casino closed, retail operations were not available, but four online apps launched.
Yes, it’s legal to bet on sports in Colorado. Sportsbooks licensed by the state started taking bets on May 1, 2020. Gamblers have to place bets with a sportsbook that has a license issued by the state. Bettors can place wagers in retail sportsbooks and online sportsbooks.
Gamblers need to be careful when choosing a sportsbook. Many online and mobile sportsbooks accept wagers from Colorado visitors and residents, but not all of them are officially licensed and regulated by the state. If you place bets with a sportsbook that isn’t licensed by the state of Colorado, you don’t have any protection offered by the state laws.
Yes, gamblers have to be 21 or older to legally place sports bets in Colorado. This is the same age restriction the state places on casino gambling.
Gamblers don’t have to live in Colorado to bet on sports in the state. Residents of Colorado can’t legally make wagers on CO betting apps when they travel outside the state, either. The law specifically deals with bets made while being located in the state of Colorado. It doesn’t have anything to do with being a resident of the state.
Players are protected by the Colorado Division of Gaming, which is a part of the Colorado Department of Revenue. Here’s the address:
Colorado Department of Revenue — Division of Gaming
17301 W. Colfax Ave. #135
Golden, CO 80401
The phone number is 303-205-1300
The web site for the Colorado Department of Revenue — Division of Gaming can be found at: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/enforcement/gaming
Colorado law makes it illegal to bet on any high school sporting event. It’s also illegal to bet on any other amateur sporting event in the state except college athletics. You can bet on college sports, like NCAA football and NCAA basketball games, but sportsbooks aren’t allowed to offer any prop bets on these games. Prop bets are legal on professional sports games.
Colorado state law doesn’t restrict upper betting limits for sports bets. Each sportsbook operator is free to set its own betting limits. This is somewhat of a surprise because Colorado law does specify upper betting limits in the casino licenses issued by the state.