Central City is known as “The Richest Square Mile on Earth” — well, at least it used to be during the boom years of the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush. Nevertheless, some say that this is still the case now that this tiny town of only 500 residents is home to six booming casinos.
Central City casinos are legal for anyone over the age of 21, and as of May 2020, include a variety of sportsbooks, but don’t forget that Central City itself is also home to some of the best outdoor activities in the world. You can hike some amazing historic trails and see abandoned gold mines, you can spend your time away from the casinos fishing, or you can visit some of the nearby ski resorts.
There’s also a regular free shuttle bus that goes back and forth between Central City and one of the other gambling meccas of Colorado — Black Hawk — so if you find yourself worn out from gambling in the six incredible Central City casinos, you can head over to Black Hawk and start all over!
The city also has some world-class dining options, so you’ll never have to worry about going hungry or eating in the old-fashioned gold miner way — flapjacks without syrup!
Gambling in Central City casinos
Just like casinos in other parts of Colorado, the casinos in Central City are subject to a number of restrictions. They’re not restrictions that you actually have to worry about, though — this is just something the casinos themselves need to keep an eye on.
To break it down for you, the casinos in Central City are only allowed to offer “limited gaming.” That means casinos have these following restrictions:
- Only blackjack, slot machines, craps, poker or roulette will be found in any of the casinos.
- The maximum wager for the above games is $100.
- The maximum wager for sports betting is infinite.
So this may not sound like much of a restriction, but just keep in mind that if you consider yourself a high roller, you’re probably not going to find the high-limit games you seek in Central City.
The main thing that this affects in terms of your gambling experience is that you can’t make really large bets on those games, and you’re not going to find the wide range of games that you’ll find in a Las Vegas casino.
However, this rule just involves bets, not the amount you can actually win, so there are plenty of progressive slots in Central City casinos that will pay out a lot of money, and you can also participate in many of the poker tournaments that happen here each year and potentially win tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars, so that’s definitely a possibility if your only reason for gambling is to have the chance to win it big.
You probably noticed the big difference between maximum bets for table games and the maximum bets for sportsbooks. This is the case because of the passage of the new gambling law HB19-1327, which narrowly passed and allows you to bet as much as you want at a sportsbook. Many casinos began applying for a license to have a sportsbook on site in late 2019.
How sportsbooks work in Central City
Starting in May of 2020, many Central City casinos began offering a sportsbook that allows you to bet as much as you want on a wide variety of sporting events. Additionally, there are many different online sportsbooks that either have websites or mobile apps that allow you to bet on sporting events as long as you are physically located within state lines.
Sportsbooks that have been approved in the state work like this:
Sports betting inside a casino in Central City
If your goal is to go to a Central City casino and place bets on a variety of sports, you’ll find that sports betting is similar to sports betting in other states. Generally speaking, the betting takes place at or near a bar so that you can order drinks and food as you watch your sport of choice and root for your favored team.
Not all casinos in Central City have a sportsbook on site, though. Therefore, you’ll need to double check with your casino of choice before you make the trip up to Central City to make sure it’s going to have exactly what you’re looking for.
Sports betting online
If you prefer to bet in the digital age and employ your smartphone or tablet for all your betting needs, then you’ll access your sportsbooks online or through mobile apps that allow you to place wagers on a variety of sporting events after May 2020.
These apps and websites work in a way that is very similar to how they work in other states that have legalized gambling online or through a mobile app. Make sure that you are within the state lines of Colorado though — if you try to access any Colorado sportsbooks while in another state, you won’t be able to make any bets, and you might not even be able to withdraw your money!
You must download the app or log in to the website, make a profile, deposit some funds, confirm your age and then wait for approval. You’ll be able to gamble as long as the website or app can confirm that you are located within the state of Colorado.
In order to ensure that you’re in the state of Colorado, these websites and apps use the geolocation features of your device, whether that be your mobile device or your computer.
One of the things they will check is your IP address, but there are other features that they will check to make sure you are in Colorado.
There’s no way you can get around this requirement. It’s absolutely the case that they will know if you’re in another state or another country when you try to access the app, so don’t even try unless you’re in Colorado.
Central City casinos
Central City is just a little bit different from Black Hawk and Cripple Creek in that many of the casinos here actually close. Most of the casinos in these other cities, on the other hand, are open 24/7, so that’s just something you need to keep in mind when you visit.
There are six incredible casinos that are worth checking out while you’re in Central City, but here are some of our favorites.
Century Casino & Hotel
If your goal when you visit Central City is to visit casinos that have everything you’d find at a Las Vegas casino, then Century Casino & Hotel is the place to go. You’ll find hundreds of slot machines and video poker machines as well as more table games than you’ll probably find anywhere else in Central City.
Century Casino & Hotel is also well-known for having a great players’ club that offers fantastic rewards. According to the website:
“Sign up for free and receive rewards whenever you purchase food in Century Casino. Unleash explosive point multipliers that are instantly redeemable for free play. Enjoy your Insta-Play offers on all machines. Winners’ Zone members also earn entries to win our frequent cash, free play, and prize drawings.”
What we love most about Century Casino & Hotel is the hotel itself. You’re going to find all the amenities you expect when you visit. Here’s what its website has to say about the rooms:
“See inspiring views of historic mining town Central City and the surrounding mountains right from your room. All rooms include cozy pillow top mattresses, flat paneled television or HDTV, free wireless internet, a mini refrigerator, a coffee maker, an in-room safe, and climate control. Luxuriate in five-fixture baths and marble vanities. Check out our suites with charming lounge areas, jacuzzi-style tubs, or even a fireplace.”
Johnny Z’s Casino
Johnny Z’s is another great casino that you’ll find in Central City. With over 350 state-of-the-art slots, Johnny Z’s is the perfect stop for the slot player in your party. According to its website:
“Check out the newest machines in Colorado along with your old favorites. We’ve even got those hard-to-find video craps, blackjack, and roulette machines too. And, as always, play with your Club Z player’s club card for access to members-only discounts and promotions.”
Johnny Z’s has some of the highest online ratings for a casino in Central City, and many reviewers repeatedly mention how awesome the staff is.
One of the main reasons all gamblers should visit Central City at least once in their lifetimes is the fact that you have views of the Rocky Mountains that simply can’t be beat. Thankfully, Johnny Z’s isn’t just a casino but a hotel as well, so you can book a room and enjoy the most amazing views you’re ever going to find from a casino.
Here’s what the website has to say:
“The best way to fully enjoy your casino experience is to reserve a room and stay for a night or two. We make it easy for our guests with a boutique hotel just minutes away from our property. Relax in our 119 room recently renovated Grand Z Hotel with Deluxe Rooms and Suites. Stay up as long as you like, play your favorite casino games and then wake up with fresh mountain air, an artfully prepared Starbucks beverage, and our signature Double Down Breakfast.”
On top of everything we’ve already mentioned, Johnny Z’s has something you won’t find anywhere else in Central City — The Mile High Room. The Mile High Room offers free music and entertainment for all Johnny Z’s visitors and guests.
If you’re looking for something a little different from the big casino feeling that you’re going to find in the rest of Central City, then look no further than Dostal Alley.
What sets Dostal Alley apart from the crowd is the fact that it’s much more about food and beer than it is about gambling. While it is the case that you’ll find all your favorite slots and video poker machines at Dostal Alley, the place is best known for its award-winning microbrewery.
Sit back and relax with some of the best beer you’ve ever had while playing a little video poker, or grab some homemade pizza or calzones while you enjoy the crisp, clean air of Colorado.
Here’s what some visitors of Dostal Alley have to say about the experience:
“Folks here are not the typical casino employees, definitely a family atmosphere here, which is a welcome change of pace in this town. Dostal is a small old school casino with a whole bunch of slots.”
This isn’t a place for the poker fans as there are no table games here, but it’s such a change of pace from the rest of the city that you really have to check it out.
The Famous Bonanza
Another family-owned casino, The Famous Bonanza has both slot machines and video poker machines where people are frequently winning money. It also has five table games for the poker or blackjack player in your party.
Now even though The Famous Bonanza is pretty small, it prides itself on offering great deals to its customers in the form of a players’ club. That’s right, you can join a players’ club at this small casino and earn comps galore, from cash-back rewards and multipliers to food and snacks at the restaurants inside the casino.
Easy Street Casino
Easy Street Casino is owned by the same folks who own The Famous Bonanza and includes a large gaming floor that specializes in some of the more hard-to-find slot machines.
There’s also an arcade here for all guests under the age of 21, so if you’re traveling with family, you can drop the kiddos off at the arcade while the adults make their way to the tables.
You can also check out the historic Gold Coin Bar, which is covered in gold coins from the mining days, back when the city was known as the richest square mile in the world.