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How does sports betting work in Colorado?

25th February, 22:07

Slots, blackjack and video poker have been legal to play at casinos in a trio of Colorado mountain towns since 1991.

But this spring, gamblers will have a variety of new ways to wager when sports betting becomes legal, too.

Here are the basics of Colorado's new sports gambling industry -- and how you can double down on the action.

Colorado voters legalized sports wagering in November 2019 with the passage of Proposition DD. It was a close call -- the initiative passed with 50.8% of the vote.

Sports betting launches May 1, 2020. Most retail and digital sportsbooks expect to be up and running by the launch date; however, only seven casinos in Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek currently have licenses to operate. Expect more to be able to offer sports betting as additional licenses are approved by the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission -- and as football season, one of the biggest betting leagues, prepares to kick off.

Keep an eye on The Denver Post's ongoing sports betting coverage to stay up to date.

Adults ages 21 and up are permitted to partake in legal sports betting in Colorado.

Colorado's sport betting laws allow for in-person wagering at licensed casinos in Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek, as well as at tribal casinos in southwestern Colorado, and through mobile or web-based apps that have partnerships with licensed Colorado casinos. Some of the most popular digital platforms that we already know will be available in Colorado include DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet, Betfred, Barstool Sports and Circa Sports.

The short answer: No. While many casinos plan to open retail sportsbooks onsite where gamblers can watch games and place bets at a counter or kiosk, digital sports betting is also legal. That means players can download one or several mobile betting apps to place a wager, as well as use a web-based service from anywhere in Colorado. Mobile and web-based platforms will have geofencing technology to ensure whoever is wagering on a sport is located in Colorado.

Colorado's statute legalized betting on professional sports, including individual, team, international and Olympic competitions, as well as collegiate, motor and sanctioned video-game sports. The state gaming commission expects to lay out exactly which sports leagues are permissible before the first bets can be placed May 1.

Conversely, it is illegal to wager on high school sports of any kind.

The most traditional way of betting on sports is to wager on the final outcome of a game, or which team wins/loses. However, so-called prop bets have become increasingly popular, especially for gamblers using digital sportsbooks.

Proposition, or prop, bets are wagers placed on individual players or events within a game, rather than the final score. During the Super Bowl, for example, gamblers could bet on which team wins the coin toss, who scores first or which quarterback throws the first touchdown pass -- among dozens of other things.

Prop bets are legal for everything except collegiate sports. The state plans to build a digital catalog of approved prop bets that sportsbooks can offer.

No, there is no limit on wagers; however, many digital sportsbooks require an advance deposit before they allow gamblers to make any bets. This is a departure from current gambling at Colorado's casinos, which must, by law, cap bets at $100.

Proposition DD established a 10% tax on casinos that's expected to generate $16 million to $29 million annually. The money will primarily fund Colorado's water projects and obligations, including those covered under the Colorado Water Plan. Additionally, $130,000 annually will go toward gambling addiction services and 6% of taxes are allocated to the state's hold harmless fund, which supports casino cities, community colleges and other entities funded by gaming revenues that can prove they lost money due to a decrease in the amount bet on traditional gambling and horse racing following the legalization of sports betting.

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