Colorado has had legal casino gambling since 1991, and now has more than 30 casinos operating in the state. In 2020, retail and online sportsbooks began taking bets, giving Colorado even more gambling options. Unfortunately, Colorado online casinos are not yet a reality.
However, that could all change in the future, so in this article we will look at the options that might be available when Colorado online casinos are legalized.
Although Colorado online casinos have yet to be made legal, it is no stranger to legal gambling. In fact, the history of legal gambling in Colorado goes right back to 1822. That's when the doors opened to what is believed to be the first casino anywhere in the United States. We are of course talking about Brown’s Saloon near what are now the Utah and Wyoming borders.
Colorado became a state in 1876, but it wasn't until 1950 that legalized gambling made its return in the form of horse racing. Colorado also added greyhound racing in the 1950s, but that was outlawed in 2014 when the last greyhound track closed its doors.
A state lottery was created in 1982, and the first tickets were sold in 1983. In an effort to revive the dying historic mining towns of Cripple Creek, Black Hawk, and Central City, voters approved limited casino gaming in those three towns. The Utes in southwest Colorado were also allowed to operate casinos on tribal land.
Both the games being offered and the maximum value of wagers have increased over the years. The maximum wager is now up to $100, and there is no shortage of retail casinos to choose from.
The last effort to pass an online gambling law that wasn’t sport-related was in 2013. It went down to defeat before the votes were even cast.
But attitudes have changed in the years since, and the expectation is that legislative efforts will change too. So don’t be surprised if Colorado online casinos also make their debut at some point.
The Colorado Division of Gaming will have to give its approval to any online casino game that is offered in the state. However, we can predict several types of games that are likely to receive approval given that they are already available retail casinos in the state.
They are popular the world over, and when casino gaming was first introduced in 1991, slot machines were the main attraction. You can’t have a casino, retail or online, that doesn’t feature a wide variety of slot machines.
Every casino customer is familiar with Game King video poker. These machines are some of the most popular on the floor thanks to the wide variety of poker playing options they offer. As one of the original legal casino games in Colorado, these are sure to be included in any online casino.
The most popular of the card table games, along with slots and video poker, has been in Colorado since 1991. Smaller online casinos may have slots and video poker only, but the majority of approved online casinos will feature blackjack.
An easy game to learn and a fun game to play, baccarat has seen a rise in popularity in recent years. Because of the size of the table and the number of players, it is possible that you’ll only find mini-baccarat at online casinos instead of one of the full-sized versions.
Another easy game to understand and simulate online, roulette is likely to become a popular online offering. Online casinos typically feature both American roulette, which has two green spaces, and the European version, which has only one green space.
Largely popular because it’s a social game, craps doesn’t translate quiet as well to the online format as some others. However, it is playable online and still enjoys a certain level of popularity because of its favorable player odds.
Available at many Colorado retail casinos, expect to see Three Card Poker also offered online. It offers odds on hands, plays against a dealer, and it’s easy for anyone to learn.
As we have said, Colorado online casinos aren't yet legal. However, it is still useful to know what to look for if and when they do arrive.
Game selection and the gaming experience itself are always important things to consider. In addition, you'll want multiple deposit options, a fully staffed customer support team, generous bonuses and a worthwile loyalty program.
With all of those things in mind, here are the online casino that would be well worth visiting when they are allowed to operate in the state.
A welcome bonus, a deposit bonus, and a risk-free bet bonus all make DraftKings one of the better places to play. DraftKings was among the first online sportsbooks to enter the Colorado market, and they are sure to be one of the first online casinos to make it into the state.
FanDuel was also at the head of the curve for Colorado sportsbooks. Considering how aggressive they have been at entering the online casino market in other states, we expect the same thing to happen in Colorado.
FanDuel has a wide selection of games, large free-bet bonuses, and a fast and nimble platform. They will definitely become a top choice once they are available.
Another big name in the industry is BetMGM, which also opened a sportsbook in Colorado as soon as possible. As they have done in other states, the sportsbook and future online casino will be integrated into one app with seamless connectivity between both.
Good bonus offers, a user-friendly experience, and plenty of game options will make this a top choice when that time comes.
It might not have the same high profile as MGM when it comes to casino gambling, but Fox Bet is already in Colorado as a sportsbook, and in other states as both a sportsbook and online casino. Fox Bet also does a nice job of integrating the two offerings into a single, very usable app, and when given the green light to do so in Colorado, no doubt the result will be successful.
Any online casinos that come to Colorado will be a partner of one of the following retail casinos located in the state.
Like almost every other online casino, Colorado online casinos will offer bonuses to attract new customers. This is the way it has worked in every other state, and when Colorado online casinos become legal, it’s almost certainly how it will work here too.
The most basic bonus is a welcome bonus. You sign up for a new account, and the casino gives you some free bonus cash to play with. Typically, that free bonus cash is given to you in the form of a risk-free bet (for example, free spins) so it’s not quite cash in your pocket. But any opportunity to place bets using the casino’s money is a good thing.
These bonuses tend to be higher than welcome bonuses. While you may get between $20 and $100 of bonuses for registering your new account, you can often get up to $500 in matching deposit bonuses as a first time customer.
There will be playthrough requirements before that money can be withdrawn as cash.
As an example, let’s say you get $400 in a deposit match bonus. You may have to wager five-times that amount - $2,000 - before that money goes from credit to actual withdrawable cash.
Even with the playthrough requirements, deposit bonuses are a great way to build a bankroll.
Almost every retail casino in the world has a loyalty program. You sign up, received a card, and then insert that card into a gaming machine whenever you play. This allows the casino to see how much you are playing, and reward you accordingly.
Online loyalty programs work in a very similar way, but obviously you won't need to insert a physical card into a machine. Instead, your play will be monitored automatically and you will be awarded points. Those points can then be exchanged for rewards.
These programs are free to join, and the more you play, the more you earn. Expect everything from free plays, bonus boosters to birthday gifts, free dinners and overnight stays at the partner casino. If you are offered a loyalty or rewards program, definitely sign up for it.
Once a casino has your business, they will be just as keen to keep it. Along with the loyalty program that you’ve signed up for, they will offer you a series of other incentives to keep you active and playing.
These additional bonuses might include a refer a friend program, where you and a friend who signs up for a new account using your unique code each get a risk-free bet. You may also encounter day-of-the-week promotions, where certain games are cheaper to play or give you a chance to win bigger prizes than usual.
You can also look forward to jackpot drawings and many other giveaways designed to reward the biggest players and the most loyal customers.
Casinos work very hard to make it as easy as possible for you to sign up with them. Based on what we’ve seen from the online sportsbooks operating in the state, the information that an online casino will ask you to provide is as follows:
You will then be prompted to answer a pair of security questions and decide if you want to opt-in to a two-factor notification. This sends a PIN to your mobile phone each time your account is accessed. That PIN must then be provided for you to complete the log-in process.
Two-factor authentication is a great way to keep your account safe, and is recommended by security experts everywhere.
Since online sportsbooks are already up and running in Colorado, any banking methods current in use should also be available to online casino players. Not all casinos will offer all of the available banking options, but most should include at least a handful of the following:
Credit card payments are the most common method of deposit, but a word of warning: Some issuing banks treat the payments like a cash advance and attach additional fees. Be sure to check with your credit card company before making any payments.
In some cases, the transaction will be denied outright, and in that case, you’ll need to call your bank and authorize the payment directly.
The most recommended method of deposit is by online bill pay, because it is the most secure. You never have to give your account number to anyone and you set up the transaction directly through your bank account.
E-wallet options are also a good way to make deposits because of the lack of additional fees and secure electronic connection.
Many of the methods of deposit can be reversed into an easy and fast withdrawal. If you are unable to do that, or your particular Colorado casino doesn’t offer it, these will be your withdrawal options.
When cashing out with a personal check, there will be delays of between five and ten business days for processing and mailing. This is another reason using electronic banking is recommended by us and others in the industry.
At the moment, there are no legal online casinos or online poker rooms in Colorado.
Sports betting was legalized in 2019 and online sports betting went live in May 2020.
The hope is that since casino gaming has been legal in the state since 1991, and now that sports betting is legal, that the next logical step for lawmakers to take would be to legalize online casinos.
It’s hard to say exactly what future online casinos in Colorado will offer. Still, based on the history and evolution of gambling in the state, we can say with some certainty that slot machines, video poker, and all card table games will be included.
As with sports betting regulations, online casino gaming will be limited to anyone 21 years and older as well as to people inside the state lines of Colorado.
Residency in the state will not be required. Anyone visiting the state who is of age will be able to place casino wagers.
Colorado does support responsible gaming in several different ways.
Resources to help problem gamblers are available through the following agencies:
Problem Gambling Coalition of Colorado: This coalition provides a 24-hour confidential helpline and will assist gamblers in registering for self-exclusion lists.
Gamblers Anonymous: With more than 1,000 self-supporting chapters across the world, there are meetings throughout most of Colorado.
The International Center for Responsible Gaming: The ICRG runs a website dedicated to college students, parents, and campus administrators to tackle the issue of gambling addiction on college campuses.
Colorado Division of Gaming: The management arm of all gambling regulations in Colorado, they are responsible for enforcing the self-exclusion lists that Colorado offers.
When a person adds their name to the self-exclusion list, they are no longer allowed to enter a casino or access a sportsbook. And when online casinos are added to Colorado, that exclusion will extend to those as well. Self-exclusion listing, depending on the request, can last from one year to five years.
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