Betting On College Sports In Colorado

After college sports took a hit from the pandemic in 2020, college sports have rebounded with fresh enthusiasm for the 2021-22 season. Sports betting in Colorado gives 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 are not allowed on college sporting events.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) opposes sports betting and pushed back against the 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, over/unders, futures, and of course, fantasy sports teams. That covers the main game lines and bets on who will win the championship game each year.

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. 2021 saw the first full year of March Madness betting, and it rivaled the amount of money wagered on the NFL. Instead of going all the way out to Vegas, Coloradans can monetize their brackets from home.

Do Any Colleges Have Partnerships With Sportsbooks?

Yes. CU Boulder has a corporate partnership with PointsBet that’s been in place since September 2020. PointsBet is a sponsor for the Buffs, so the CU Athletic department got some money out of the deal. PointsBet is a natural fit for a university athletic program because of its emphasis on safe, controlled, and ethical gaming. It doesn’t get any inside information to tweak odds on the Buffs, so it doesn’t run afoul of any rules.

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. That doesn’t prevent corporate partnerships. It just leaves some important measures in place to maintain the integrity of college sports in an environment full of money and gaming.

How Popular Are College Sports In Colorado?

The Broncos may be Denver’s most popular sports team, but college sports are not far behind. Leading up to March Madness, college basketball is more popular to bet on than professional football. College football isn’t far behind, but there’s still more money wagered on professional football than college football. However, college sports don’t dominate sportsbooks beyond football and basketball. While other college teams are available, they don’t enjoy the same popularity that football and basketball do.

Do All Colorado Sportsbooks Offer College Betting?

Yes. College football and basketball are two large sources of revenue for Colorado sportsbooks during their respective seasons. In October 2020, college football was the third most popular sport to bet on in Colorado, right behind professional baseball and football. However, in March 2021, college basketball was the second most popular sport to bet on in Colorado. The only sport more popular was professional basketball. (Although, the first post-pandemic March Madness was always going to be crazy.) When it’s in season, college sports are as popular as professional sports for sports bettors.

Where Can Bettors Wager On College Sports?

Coloradans have plenty of places to bet. The full list is a sprawling selection of partnerships, retail sportsbooks, and online operators. Bettors have 17 retail sportsbooks they can visit across Colorado’s three casino cities: Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek. Online platforms are numerous as well. Coloradans have access to major sportsbook brands, like DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, and WynnBET. Colorado has 25 online sportsbooks, so bettors have plenty of options to explore.

However, bettors can only wager online at Colorado sportsbooks while they’re inside of Colorado. Sportsbooks use a technology called geofencing to keep bettors from out of state out of Colorado sportsbooks.

Even if they have Colorado sportsbook accounts.

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 Colorado but not Utah. It’s also how Coloradans were prevented from using sportsbook apps and websites until May 1, 2020 when sports betting went live.

Key Takeaways About College Sports Betting In Colorado

College sports betting is a popular past-time for Colorado bettors. Bettors can’t place prop bets on them. However, the main game lines are more popular anyway, so bettors are missing little. College sports are just as popular as professional sports, and bettors have no shortage of places to place their bets. So, college sports fans had better pay attention to their favorite Colorado college teams. All those well-informed opinions about young star athletes around the dinner table could be worth some extra cash.

Betting On College Sports In Colorado FAQ

Is betting on college sports legal in Colorado?

Yes. Placing wagers on college sports is legal in Colorado; however, prop bets are not legal. This rule was put in place to not compromise the integrity of college teams and their athletes.

How old do you have to be to bet on sports in Colorado?

21. Bettors must be 21 or over to place bets on any sports betting app or in retail casinos. This is largely the situation in states that allow sports betting.

Do I have to be in Colorado to bet on college sports?

Yes, you must be physically located in Colorado to place bets on any sports betting apps. Colorado sportsbook apps use geofencing technology to ensure bettors are wagering from within state lines. This technology also protects neighboring states that do not allow betting, like Utah.

What are the best sportsbooks for betting on college sports?

Colorado bettors have some of the best sportsbook apps available in their state. While DraftKings and FanDuel are great options for betting on college sports, bettor can also check out what other apps have to offer. See a full list of the best sportsbook apps.

Do sports betting apps offer bonuses for college betting?

Many sportsbook apps offer bonuses and promotions for Colorado bettors. Check out the best bonus offers available at sports betting apps in Colorado here.

How do I place a sports bet on in Colorado?

Colorado Sharp’s betting guide can explain how to place a bet at online sportsbooks, where to find the best apps, bonuses, and more. Check out the guide.

About the Author

Christopher Gerlacher

Christopher Gerlacher is a freelance writer tucked into the foothills in Colorado Springs. He works as a content writer, a professional resume writer, and authors search engine optimized professional articles in multiple industries.