Colorado State

Bordered by Utah, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Nebraska and Kansas, Colorado is a diverse state in terms of its natural geography. Weighing in as the eighth most populated area in the US, it’s well-known throughout the world for having one of the most varied geographical landscapes in the country. From dry plains and desert canyons, to snow-capped peaks, waterfalls, lakes and towering mountain ranges – not to mention extreme weather conditions that change rapidly – Colorado is a fascinating area that attracts many tourists annually. Not all are here to take part in the outdoor splendour, though. Some prefer to soak up the sights and sounds of bustling cities like Denver, or take trips to historical mining towns like Black Hawk, Cripple Creek and Central City – the latter three of which we’d highly recommend a visit to if gambling activities features on your holiday itinerary. Why? Because they’re some of the only places you’ll find legal land-based casinos to wager at.

And just in case you were thinking of by-passing these towns and checking out the natural tourist attractions with the idea that you’d get your fill of gaming by logging onto mobile casinos or Facebook casinos via social casino apps through your phone’s browser, think again: because online gambling is expressly illegal in Colorado. If you’re really brave, you could try your luck by playing free fun online slots at fun play casinos or free play online casinos – but that would be at your own risk. Let’s find out more about what the law says in terms of what’s legal and what’s not, where you can go to play and some of the possible reasons behind online gaming being illegal.

Legal & Illegal Forms of Gambling in Colorado

In Colorado, regardless of whether you’re visiting the State, or are a permanent resident, these are the following forms of gambling that you’ll legally be able to partake in:

  • Horse and dog racing events (both off-track and live)
  • The Colorado Lottery (the state lottery)
  • Bingo games (conducted in bingo halls and other licensed establishments)
  • Raffle games (a form of lottery gaming)
  • Charitable games (any games that donate all revenues towards a charity organisation)
  • Social gambling (meaning gambling games at home, where no money exchanges hands)
  • Limited stakes gaming at licenced venues in Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek (these include wagering on games like slot machines, video slots, poker, blackjack, roulette and craps)

As you can see, there’s quite a lot on offer and many acceptable and legal forms of gambling available within state lines.

That brings us to the opposite end of the coin: the illegal forms of gambling in Colorado:

  • Professional gambling (making a living off of gambling)
  • Internet gambling (any online gaming on the web where money exchanges hands)
  • Telephone sports books (wagers placed on sporting events)

Because the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission defines gambling as any gaming activity that follows a ‘payment-luck-reward’ process, this means that accessing mobile casinos or Facebook casinos via social casino apps could be classified as illegal. We assume that you’d still be within the bounds of the law when playing free fun online slots at fun play casinos or free play online casinos. This is due to the simple fact that most of these types of gambling activities either don’t require a payment to be made, or don’t award any payments out. You’d only be playing for the fun of it, not for any monetary rewards.

Possible Reasons for Making Online Play Illegal

While other states that tend to have a more lax approach to their gambling laws seem to have proven how lucrative and beneficial gambling revenues can be in terms of fuelling state proceeds and benefiting the overall community, it’s not uncommon for online gambling to be illegal. Why could this be? Well, the majority of online casinos accessed within any said state, regardless of their licensing, legality and legitimacy, don’t necessarily originate in the US. They’re offshore, and so, all profits made from gamblers don’t benefit the state or country in any way.

While it’s only speculation on our part, we’d have to assume that this is the reason Colorado has chosen to outlaw online gambling, forcing residents and tourists to make use of the licensed land-based casinos in operation in the state instead, which positively contributes towards the economy.

Casinos in Colorado

In the licensed towns of Black Hawk, Cripple Creek and Central City, there are 26 casinos for you to play at, with a further two tribal casinos in Towaoc and Ignacio. These include establishments like Sky Ute Casino Resort, The Gilpin Casino, Johnny Z’s Casino, Century Casino and Bronco Billy’s Casino to name just a few. Most, if not all, offer a wide range of slots and video pokers, table games, poker rooms and more to players who frequent their establishments, and also have accommodation available. Because Black Hawk, Cripple Creek and Central City are typical gold-mining towns, they have plenty of charm, and would make for entertaining getaway destinations, as there is a lot of architectural old-school charm to soak up if you’re not interested in all the surrounding natural wonders nearby.


Given all that Colorado has to offer, and the possible reason for its decision to outlaw online gaming, we think it’s well worth a visit for any serious gambler. If you’re living in the state, it’s easy enough to take a trip to the licensed towns that offer land-based casino experiences – and if you grow tired of these, then there’s always the many bordering states to visit too. Given Colorado’s liberal laws (they were one of the first states to legalise marijuana for medicinal, recreational and industrial use), there’s no saying what the future could hold in terms of gambling laws but, for now, try to keep your nose clean and stick to legal ways of satisfying your gaming needs.