Similar to many other states, Colorado has a lot of restrictions around gambling, casinos and sportsbooks. However, there are three cities in Colorado that have legal casinos. Those are the historical districts in:
Cripple Creek casinos are subject to a number of restrictions, but for anyone over the age of 21, gambling is essentially legal. Here’s how it works.
Gambling in Cripple Creek casinos
The restrictions on gambling in Cripple Creek are mostly something that the casinos have to worry about — they won’t really affect you much, and you’ll be able to have a fun, enjoyable experience at any Cripple Creek casino.
That being said, it’s good to know how the casinos are restricted so you can understand why certain bets are not allowed in the casinos you visit, why the casinos are structured the way they are and why you’ll only be able to find certain types of games in the casinos.
Basically, the casinos in Cripple Creek are only allowed to offer what’s known as “limited gaming.” That means casinos have these following restrictions:
- They can’t offer any games they want — they can only offer blackjack, slot machines, craps, poker or roulette.
- You can’t make any wager you want at these games—the maximum wager is $100.
- The casino can only take up about 35% of a building or 50% of a floor.
There are some other restrictions, but they don’t really apply much to Cripple Creek casinos. All you need to know is that the insides of the casinos are going to be kind of strange (especially if you’re used to gambling in Las Vegas or Atlantic City or something like that) because of that odd space rule.
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, for example.
That being said, thanks to the passage of the new gambling law HB19-1327, sports betting isn’t subject to the same restrictions in terms of maximum bets! That’s right — you can make as large of a bet as you want at a sportsbook in Cripple Creek (if your wallet can take the pain, that is).
You can learn more about that new law here.
While sportsbooks and sports betting are legal in Colorado right now, the target date for sportsbook approval is May 2020. Check back here regularly to learn more about which sportsbooks have been approved to launch in Cripple Creek.
How sportsbooks work in Cripple Creek
Many of the casinos and online sports betting websites and apps are working diligently to gain approval and make sports betting available to their customers.
Sportsbooks that have been approved in the state work like this:
Sports betting inside a casino in Cripple Creek
If your goal is to go to a Cripple Creek casino and place bets on a variety of sports, you’ll find that sports betting is similar to sports betting in other states. You’ll go into the casino (once you’ve shown your ID to prove that you’re 21 or older), and you’ll go to the bar and place your bets just like you would in Vegas.
Then you can sit back, relax, have some food or a few drinks, and watch your chosen game, match, race or what have you.
Sports betting online
There are a wide variety of sportsbooks available online and via mobile apps that will allow you to place wagers on a variety of sporting events after May 2020. The way these apps and websites work is similar to how they work in other states that have legalized gambling online or via mobile app, like in New Jersey or Pennsylvania.
Essentially, you’ll have to 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.
It does that by using the geolocation features of your device, whether that be your mobile device or your computer. One of the things it will check is your IP address, but there are other features that it will check to make sure you are in Colorado. The software that checks your location is highly sophisticated and will be able to tell if a cheater is trying to spoof the location and gamble from a state where sports betting online or via mobile app is illegal.
Cripple Creek casinos
Cripple Creek is filled with casinos that you can visit pretty much 24/7 and that are known for having “loose slots” (slots that pay back more money on average than casinos in other parts of the state of Colorado, though both Black Hawk and Central City will likely challenge that assertion).
As mentioned above, the casinos in Cripple Creek, just like in the rest of the state, are limited in terms of the types of games you’ll find in each casino. Those include:
Now, while that may seem like a severely limited selection, especially if you’re used to gambling at the huge casinos in Las Vegas or Atlantic City, the fact of the matter is that there are many variations of these games that are available in the casinos in Cripple Creek that will more than satisfy your need for a great gaming experience.
For example, even though “poker” is one of the five games that’s available at the casinos (sorry, no baccarat here!), you’ll find fun variations that can be found at popular casinos around the world, including three-card poker, Texas Hold ’em and bonus six.
If you love blackjack but find that blackjack by itself can get a little boring, you might try some of the variations available like double up blackjack or double deck pitch.
So yes, it does feel as if there are severe restrictions on the games that you can play in the casinos in Cripple Creek, but in reality, you’ll be able to find all the gaming you’ve ever wanted and then some.
Unless you’re an aficionado of a specific kind of game, you’re probably going to have a blast at Cripple Creek no matter which casino you choose.
Casinos to check out in Cripple Creek
Rather than going in alphabetical order, let’s explore some of the best casinos in Cripple Creek and see what they have to offer the savvy gambler.
Wildwood Casino is only about 100 miles from Denver or about 40 miles from Colorado Springs, so if you’re coming in from out of state or you live in the Mile High City, it’s not much of a trek to get there.
Wildwood Casino is the first one on the list for the simple reason that it probably appeals to the vast majority of gamblers. Let’s explore what makes Wildwood Casino unique.
First of all, Wildwood Casino claims to have “The Largest Single Gaming Floor in Town.” According to its website, “Wildwood earned the prestigious ‘Most Money Won In Cripple Creek’ award by having the best games in town. Every table is set for wild winning in our Vegas-style pit, with the most progressive jackpots you’ll find in the heart of the Rocky Mountains!”
Now that’s what we want to point out — the Vegas-style pit. If you’re used to gambling in Atlantic City or Las Vegas, then you’re probably going to want a similar experience when you make your way to Cripple Creek.
The reason a Vegas-style pit is so well known and is used in Vegas (the hub of gambling in the United States) is that it appeals to a broad range of customers. For the average gambler, this is the casino to visit.
But there’s more to Wildwood Casino that makes it stand out from the crowd. According to its website: “There’s a reason gamblers keep coming back to Wildwood Casino. We have the biggest winners! For not just one, but two years straight, we’ve clinched the ‘Most Money Won in Cripple Creek’ title and intend to hold onto this prestigious honor! The people have spoken: players clearly choose Wildwood over other options because they believe they have the best chance to win often, win big, and win Wild!”
So if your goal is to win big during your gambling trip, this is probably the place to go. A lot of people who visit Cripple Creek have it in their minds that they’re not really going to be able to get away from the Old West vibe that the town has going on (and to be fair, the reason gambling is allowed here in the first place is because it is considered a historic area and had gambling and casinos and saloons back in the Old West days).
Fortunately, Wildwood casino breaks away from that trend and allows the high-class gambler to stay in a place that’s filled with the amenities and comforts you’ve come to expect from your stays in Vegas or Atlantic City or even Macau.
Like many modern hotels and casinos, Wildwood Casino has done away with smoking! So you’ll be able to enjoy a smoke-free environment during your entire stay. There’s a fitness center, a swimming pool and hot tub, and free Wi-Fi in every room, and unlike many casinos that you’ll find around the world, Wildwood Casino allows you to bring your pets.
If you’re looking for something that goes more with the vintage look and feel of the Old West, then you’ll want to check out The Brass Ass Casino.
The Brass Ass Casino
The reason we chose this casino to feature above all the other vintage and historic casinos in Cripple Creek is that The Brass Ass Casino is the oldest casino in all of Cripple Creek, and yet it still has many of the amenities that you’ve come to expect from big casinos nationwide.
Most people come to Cripple Creek actually wanting to experience the feeling of being in the Old West, which is what makes The Brass Ass Casino such a great venue to visit.
According to the website: “Located inside one of the city’s most historic buildings, The Brass Ass Casino features vintage street scene décor, including street lamps, western building facades and the original Cripple Creek lighted sign from H.H. Rosser’s Pool Hall. This Cripple Creek, CO casino is named after the painted wooden brass ass in the table games room — one of the original brass donkeys that launched boats with a well-placed kick at the 1893 World Exposition in Chicago.”
Like many of the casinos in the area, The Brass Ass Casino is open 24/7 and includes all of the games mentioned above, games that you would expect to find in an Old West casino.
That being said, it’s done a great job of keeping its slot machines and video poker machines updated, so when you’re actually gaming, you’ll still get the level of game experience you’ve come to expect from other gaming venues in the US.
Thankfully, you’ll find that The Brass Ass Casino is smoke free, so you won’t have to worry about hours and hours of gaming affecting your health. There are also some great restaurants available that you can eat in 24/7, and it also has the biggest selection of nickel slots that you’re going to find in Cripple Creek.
This casino has some of the best ratings online and is well-loved by its patrons, so it’s definitely one you’re going to want to visit. It’s also got a great players’ club that you can join to earn some rewards while you’re there.
The staff is well known to be friendly and knowledgeable, and though you won’t be able to stay on site, there are plenty of great hotels and high quality rooms nearby.
If neither of these casinos sound like a good fit for you, head over to our review of the Double Eagle Casino.