The coronavirus may have cancelled college basketball, but there’s still hope for college football. Sports betting in Colorado became legal on May 1, 2020 giving sports fans the opportunity to wager on their favorite college teams. Hopefully, that includes the Colorado Buffaloes, but there are no hard feelings toward anyone who favors the Rams. Here’s everything a new sports bettor needs to know about betting on college sports in Colorado.
Can Bettors Wager On College Sports In Legal CO Sportsbooks?
Yes, of course. College sports are fair game for bettors across the Rocky Mountain State. However, prop bets on random in-game events are not allowed on college sports.
Colorado protects the integrity of college games by disallowing prop bets. The National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) is a stark sports betting opponent, and pushed back against legalization of any type of college sports betting. The NCAA doesn’t want any of its athletes to throw a game or short their team to win a prop bet. Colorado agrees and prohibits prop bets to keep financially vulnerable college athletes from adjusting their own performances to win bets.
What College Sports Bets Are Available?
Bettors are only able to bet on the outcome of college games. That leaves a few bets on point spreads, and of course, fantasy sports teams and March Madness brackets.
Fantasy sports have always been legal, due to their exemption from federal gambling laws. March Madness, however, was not protected under the same legal technicality, so most Colorado March Madness fans were stuck with informal pots at work or among friends. However, when March Madness (hopefully) returns in 2021, college basketball fans will be able to bet on the performance of their brackets. Instead of going all the way out to Vegas, Coloradans will be able to monetize their brackets from home.
Do Any Colleges Have Partnerships With Sportsbooks?
No. There are no college partnerships with sportsbooks in Colorado. The NCAA’s opposition to sports betting makes those types of partnerships impossible. However, the guidelines from Colorado’s Division of Gaming make a partnership even more unlikely.
Rule Six, sub-section eleven of Colorado’s Division of Gaming’s new sports betting regulations (whew!) lists people who are not allowed to participate in sports betting. Among the prohibited sports bettors are:
[People] who [hold] a position of authority or influence sufficient to exert influence over the participants in a sporting contest, including, but not limited to, coaches, managers, handlers, or athletic trainers based on a list provided to the applicable Sports Betting Operation by that person’s sports governing body through the division.
Basically, anyone who could influence a player’s performance is prohibited from sports betting. A list of those people will be sent to sportsbooks so they can be turned away if they try to wager. Between these regulations, the Gaming Division’s other prohibitions (also Rule Six), and the NCAA’s prohibitions, a partnership between colleges and sportsbooks seems impossible.
How Popular Are College Sports In Colorado?
Professional sports are immensely popular in Denver, but the city loves its college sports too. The Broncos may be Denver’s most popular sports team, but college football is not far behind. College basketball could end up being more popular than the Denver Nuggets because of March Madness. The Rockies are also quite the draw, and could be more popular than college sports during baseball season. The Avs and The Rapids probably aren’t going to challenge college teams’ popularity. Hockey and soccer just aren’t as popular as college sports.
Do All CO Sportsbooks Offer College Betting?
Yes, sportsbooks offer bets on college teams. Only prop bets will remain prohibited. FanDuel runs college bets often, like this 100 to 1 moneyline bet on Alabama vs. Clemson. Whether it’s fantasy sports or straight sports betting, Colorado bettors will have plenty of sports betting options.
Where Can Bettors Wager On College Sports?
Coloradans have plenty of places to bet. Century Casino in Cripple Creek received its sports betting license in February, making it a premier option for sports betting in person. In Black Hawk, FanDuel and DraftKings have both acquired Colorado sports betting licenses from Twin River Management Group, the new owners of Golden Gates, Golden Gulch, and Mardi Gras Casinos. The Denver Post reported that the Monarch Casino and Saratoga Casino have both applied for sports betting licenses.
Online platforms like Betfred, Barstool Sports, and Circa Sports are also now available. The enterprising Colorado reader may have noticed that Betfred’s website was completely blocked before May 1. That’s because Rule Seven of Colorado’s Division of Gaming’s new sports betting guidelines required online sportsbooks to geofence their apps and websites.
Geofencing means putting a virtual fence around a geographic area. Most of the time, it’s used in marketing. Anyone who’s walked past an outlet store and had a deal for that store pop up on their phone has walked through a geofence. However, that same technology can barricade an entire state and lock people out. It’s how online sportsbooks can operate in New Jersey but not Maryland. It’s also how online sportsbooks know that Coloradans would be prevented from using their websites or apps until May 1 when sports betting became legal in the state.
Everything Bettors Need To Know
There are three main things new bettors need to know about college sports betting in Colorado:
- Bettors can bet on the outcome of the game but cannot place prop bets.
- College sports will be just as popular–if not more popular–than professional sports.
- Bettors can bet in person at casinos or online at different online sportsbooks.
College sports fans had better pay attention to their favorite college teams this summer. All those well-informed opinions about the team could be worth some extra cash.