Colorado Esports Betting

With the legalization of online sports betting in Colorado, there is a world of sports that opened up to Colorado bettors. This includes Colorado esports betting, which is a unique variety of betting that wasn’t popular even just a few years ago.

Colorado is part of a special selection of states that allows esports betting. Esports betting is like betting on any other sport, even though the sports are not played on a field or a court. There are some key differences in betting on esports. For example, there are more games encompassed within esports. Counter-Strike, League of Legends, and Dragon Ball FighterZ are fought differently. The esports landscape is diverse, and bettors need to know what they’re getting into before trying it out.

Where Colorado Bettors Can Wager On Esports

Colorado SportsbookAvailable EsportsWelcome Bonus
DraftKingsCounter Strike: Global Offensive$50 free bet + 20% deposit match worth up to $1,000
SBKCounter Strike: Global Offensive
BetMGMLeague of LegendsRisk-Free bet worth up to $1,000

Best Sportsbooks For Online Esports Betting In Colorado

Most Colorado sportsbooks take esports bets. However, esports sections often come and go with major esports contests. But DraftKings, SBK, and BetMGM have reliable esports sections. Here’s what sets each of them apart from one another.


DraftKings has many types of esports bets. They have the standard money line bets over who wins. However, DraftKings also offers match spreads and point spreads. Bettors can wager on how many matches an esports team will win by. They can also bet on alternative map handicaps and round winners.

That’s before getting into map props. These are bets specific to each map teams compete on. That includes the number of rounds teams will play on each map. Bettors can also wager on the map score, map winner, and the combined winner and round totals. There are many types of prop bets for DraftKings bettors to choose from.

Visit: DraftKings


SBK is unique among Colorado sportsbooks. It gets its odds from a betting exchange run by its parent company, Smarkets. That means its odds are set by bettors instead of oddsmakers. As a result, SBK’s odds tend to be better for bettors than traditional sportsbooks.

However, its esports selection is smaller than DraftKings. It has plenty of leagues when esports competitions are available. However, SBK doesn’t have the breadth of esports betting options that DraftKings does. SBK has bets on map winners, win spreads, and map totals. Bettors will find great odds, but fewer types of betting lines.

Visit: SBK by Smarkets


BetMGM is one of the few Colorado sportsbooks owned and developed by a casino. Since the MGM Grand developed its sportsbook, it had the chance to integrate its casino rewards. In the summer of 2020, BetMGM wagers counted toward M-Life reward points. Bettors can earn M-Life points and redeem them for resort rewards.

That makes up for the limited selection of esports betting lines. BetMGM only has money line bets. It doesn’t have any esports prop bets, match spreads, or handicap bets. If bettors want betting variety, they should wager elsewhere. But BetMGM is the only sportsbook of the top three esports sportsbooks with a rewards program. It’s an important tradeoff for esports bettors who are in it for the long run.

Visit: BetMGM

Colorado Sportsbooks With Esports Betting

These are the Colorado sportsbooks who offer regular, or occasional, lines on esports:

Retail Sportsbook Locations For Esports Betting In Colorado

These three online sportsbooks aren’t the only places to wager on esports. Retail sportsbooks are great places to watch esports tournaments live and see whether bets pan out. DraftKings is the only one of the top three esports sportsbooks with a retail location. Bettors can place live esports bets with DraftKings at the Mardi Gras Casino.

But as esports pop up at other sportsbooks, other retail options will open up too. For example, William Hill could offer esports betting in Colorado. If William Hill offered esports on its app, then esports would be available at William Hill kiosks. Bettors will have to watch the Colorado sportsbooks to see where fickle esports lines appear.

History Of Esports Betting In The United States

Esports began with a humble Spacewar tournament at Stanford University. Spacewar is a game where two ships shoot each other without falling into the star in the middle of the screen. In 1972, Stanford held a tournament to see who could win a Spacewar free-for-all. Bruce Baumgart was crowned the first champion, and Stewart Brand wrote a 9,000-word feature chronicling the contest. It was the beginning of esports and esports coverage.

Fast-forward to the 1990s, and esports grew thanks to PCs and the internet. Esports tournaments didn’t have to be in one room of arcade machines anymore. They could be spread out across the United States and eventually, the world. This led to a boom of esports leagues, beginning with the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL). Esports blossomed to the point where it got its own arena. In 2015, the first esports arena was opened in Santa Ana, California. It’s a testament to how esports became a powerful force in American sports and sports betting.

Popular Esports, Events, And Tournaments

While there are many games allowed in esports leagues, there are a few that are particularly popular. Some are fun to play, but others lend themselves to esports competitions and betting lines. Here are some of the most popular esports games that bettors will find in their sportsbooks.

League Of Legends

Anyone who understands the Roman Colosseum will understand the premise of League of Legends. Players pick a “legend” to battle and then kill their opponents. In League of Legend’s multiplayer mode, players must destroy a structure inside the enemy’s base called the Nexus. Bettors don’t have to know what the Nexus is. They just have to know that the team that annihilates the enemy’s defenses and infiltrates their base is probably winning.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Counter-Strike is an easy-to-understand game, too. One team includes terrorists. The other includes the counter-terrorists. The two teams compete to accomplish–or prevent–certain objectives. Whether bettors root for the team capturing or freeing the hostage, Counter-Strike is an immersive and engaging military shooter game.


In DOTA 2, players choose a hero, then join a team of five to defeat another team of five. The first team to decimate the opposing team by destroying the “Ancient” inside their base wins. If it sounds like League of Legends, it’s because it’s played the same way. DOTA 2 has a different cast of heroes, but bettors will notice eerie gameplay similarities.

How To Place An Online Esports Bet In Colorado

If bettors want to get in on online esports betting, then they’ll have to register for a sportsbook account. Registering for a sportsbook is like creating online accounts for most other websites.

Bettors create a username, password, and give their sportsbook some personal information. But sportsbooks ask for sensitive information, like part or all of a bettor’s social security number. If bettors are unsure about giving their socials to an app, they should know why it’s necessary. Colorado sportsbooks must adhere to strict anti-money laundering laws, so they need to know who their bettors are.

Once bettors are signed up, they can navigate to the esports section. For example, BetRivers has its esports section on a scroll bar near the top of the home screen. Bettors can hit the esports icon to find all the available esports lines. Bettors can find Counter-Strike lines where they can bet on the spread and the winner. It’s easy to get around most Colorado sportsbooks, so bettors just need to dive in and give it a shot to start learning the ropes.

Different Ways To Bet On Esports In Colorado

Betting for money isn’t the only way to wager on esports in Colorado. Bettors also have fantasy esports options. DraftKings has its own fantasy esports website that offers a $500 deposit bonus. Bettors can assemble their dream esports teams and see how they come out. That would take a lot of background knowledge about the teams, but it’s an option for interested bettors.

Bettors can also wager socially. If they have a private party and they want to bet on some League of Legends matches, they can do that. Colorado allows social betting in private settings. It may not be the excitement of a live sportsbook, but there’s nothing wrong with a few wagers at an intimate party.

Popular Ways To Bet On Esports In Colorado

There are different types of bets bettors can place on esports. All the betting options may seem intimidating to a new bettor. But the bets aren’t as scary as they look when they’re bunched together for the first time. Here are the main types of bets that bettors will encounter as they begin wagering on esports.

Money Line Bets

These are the two most common betting lines in esports and many other leagues. Money line bets are wagers on who will win the match. Wagering on the winner and loser is probably the most straightforward bet among esports lines.

Match Spreads

Match spreads are a little trickier. These lines require bettors to guess how many matches the other team will win or lose by. They’re hard because they’re shown in decimals, often 1.5 or 2.5. That keeps bets from ending in a draw. So, if one Counter-Strike team wins by two matches, the odds would be -1.5 matches. A bet on a team losing by two matches would be +1.5 matches.

Esports Betting Odds

Most Colorado sportsbooks are traditional sportsbooks. That means people sit behind a computer called oddsmakers setting the sportsbook’s odds. Oddsmakers weigh two variables when they set odds:

  • The odds of an event happening.
  • How big a house advantage to build into the line.

If bettors convert the odds to probabilities, they’ll discover that the odds don’t add up to 100%. That’s because sportsbooks rely on statistics to earn enough money to be profitable and pay winnings. When bettors see esports odds, they’re looking at a tightrope between the true odds of a DOTA 2 win and extra money in a sportsbook’s pocket.

Why Choose A Legal Sportsbook For Esports Betting In Colorado?

Some bettors may be used to whatever illegal betting options they used before Proposition DD passed. However, legal, licensed Colorado sportsbooks are safer alternatives.

For starters, licensed sportsbooks have safeguards to keep enough cash on hand to pay bettors their hard-earned winnings. Colorado’s Division of Gaming sets a formula for the cash sportsbooks must have saved. That ensures sportsbooks payout instead of withholding winnings or running out of money. Bettors are sensitive about their winnings, so this is a good proactive step.

Licensed Colorado sportsbooks also stick to approved games and bet types. An illegal sportsbook could create their own game with ambiguous rules that made it easy for them to fix matches. Colorado sportsbooks avoid that by sticking to an approved sports betting catalog. When bettors wager at a licensed Colorado sportsbook, they can rest assured they’re playing by fair, consistent rules.

Colorado Legal Esports Betting FAQs

Esports betting is foreign to many bettors. But it’s not as complicated as it looks from the outside. Here are a few common questions to put new esports bettors at ease.

How Popular Are Esports And Video Gaming In Colorado?

Esports is a rising star in Colorado. It earned over $1 billion nationwide in 2019, and its Colorado popularity can be gauged by Fountain-Fort Carson’s pilot esports program. In 2019, the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) picked a few schools to try an esports program. After one year of piloting it, Fountain-Fort Carson High School’s esports team had to split into a varsity and JV team. Esports is on the rise, and bettors should expect to see more of it.

Can Bettors Wager On International Esports Events?

Yes. Many professional esports events are global affairs. It’s common to see European and North American esports leagues when browsing esports lines. All these events are available for Colorado bettors to wager on. If their sportsbook offers it, bettors can wager on it.

Do All Sportsbooks In Colorado Accept Esports Bets?

No. Many sportsbooks do, but rarely at the same time. Oddsmakers must know a sport intimately to set probabilities for wins, losses, and match spreads. Esports is too new for widespread expertise like oddsmakers have in football. It’s also why esports availability across Colorado sportsbooks. Not everyone has a League of Legends expert on staff to keep up with every team, league, and competition.

What Is The Best Site For Esports Betting In Colorado?

DraftKings. It’s been one of the most consistent esports sportsbooks in Colorado. DraftKings is also known for its wide variety of sports and betting lines. Most Colorado sportsbooks don’t include cricket or cycling lines when the NFL is back in season. Bettors who want to find some esports event to wager on should keep DraftKings on their shortlists.

How Old Do Bettors Need To Be To Bet On Esports In Colorado?

21. It’s the minimum sports betting age, which shouldn’t be confused with the minimum fantasy league age. Users can sign up for fantasy esports betting when they’re 18. They just won’t be able to place real sports bets until they can legally drink.

Do Online Sportsbooks In Colorado Offer Live In-Game Betting On Esports?

Yes. Esports events and tournaments happen live just like any other sport. Accordingly, sportsbooks that offer esports lines also offer live betting. Bettors may or may not be interested in a live Counter Strike game. But if they are, they can find the live game section of their sportsbook and see what comes up.

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.