Colorado Casinos

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Colorado gamblers have no shortage of options when it comes to finding a venue to play their favorite game, no matter the time of day. Poker fans have dozens of tables offering live action seven nights a week. Fans of table games like blackjack, three-card poker, roulette, and craps can always find a dealer ready. And of course there are thousands of slot and video poker machines in the state waiting to be taken for a spin at any given time.

CO sports betting is a relative newcomer, but with 11 active online sportsbooks in the state, and more than 30 master gambling licenses granted so far, Colorado is well on its way to claiming its place as a Mecca for sports bettors. Kiosks and retail sports betting windows will also be popping up all over the state, for those who prefer the in-person casino action to the app experience.

The Centennial State has 33 land casinos, and two more on tribal lands to the south. The state-sanctioned casinos can be found in Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek, all of which have walkable central downtowns offering multiple casino options within close proximity, as well as plentiful dining and lodging options in all price ranges.

Black Hawk

No less historic than Cripple Creek is the town of Black Hawk, which also landed on the Colorado map when gold was discovered along the north fork of Clear Creek in 1859. The small mountain town was soon beset by thousands of miners and prospectors looking for a big strike of their own.

Today the population has dwindled from mining boom highs, but Black Hawk still sees up to 20,000 visitors a day looking to strike gold in a totally different way: at one of the city’s 15 casinos.

Located about 35 miles outside of Denver, Black Hawk has the most casinos out of any of Colorado’s three main gambling areas, including Ameristar, the biggest casino in the state.

Sports Betting in Black Hawk

Colorado sports betting launched on May 1, and multiple Black Hawk casinos will offer betting windows on-site or self-service kiosks like at William Hill, in addition to their apps. In-person sportsbooks in town were slow to open due to the pandemic, but as of right now there are two operational sportsbook windows in Black Hawk:

Other casinos in town have either formed partnerships with global sports betting brands or launched sportsbooks of their own, including:

Casino Games

Most casinos in Black Hawk have at least a few table games, many of them running 24/7. You can find classic casino games like blackjack, craps, and roulette, along with a few other, more niche games like Mississippi Stud and three-card poker. There are thousands of slot machines in Black Hawk as well, so whether you prefer the tables or trying your luck at the slots, Black Hawk has you covered.

You’ll find these table games in Black Hawk casinos:

  • Blackjack (live dealer and video)
  • Craps (live dealer and video)
  • Roulette (live dealer and video)
  • Mississippi Stud
  • Three-Card Poker
  • High Card Flush
  • Pai Gow Poker
  • Head’s Up Hold’em
  • Baccarat (video only)

Blackjack Variants in Black Hawk

Blackjack comes in many different varieties these days. In addition to standard 6- or 8-deck shoe games, Black Hawk casinos offer several variants, including:

  • Buffalo Bonus Blackjack
  • STREAK Blackjack
  • Buffalo Blackjack Extreme
  • Blackjack Pair Square Bonus
  • Double-Deck Pitch

Poker Rooms

Poker rooms or house-banked tables are available at the following properties:

Cripple Creek

Located about an hour south of Colorado Springs and two hours south of Denver, Cripple Creek is a former gold mining town turned gambling resort. Historic East Bennett Avenue traverses much of the downtown, where most of the city’s nine casinos can be found.

Visiting Cripple Creek is a bit like stepping back in time, with the building facades, many original, resembling that Old West style of architecture. But you’ll find the latest slots and table games at just about every casino in town, with locals and out-of-towners alike hoping to hit the jackpot.

Sports Betting in Cripple Creek

New to Colorado in 2020 is sports betting, both in-person and online through sportsbook apps. Multiple Cripple Creek casinos have partnered with global sports betting brands and will offer betting windows on-site or self-service kiosks. The coronavirus pandemic slowed the initial rollout of operational in-person windows, but the following Cripple Creek casinos will be offering sports betting:

Casino Games

Cripple Creek casinos offer all of the table games you would expect, from blackjack and three-card poker to roulette and craps. Not all casinos have table games, but if slots are your game of choice you will find plenty of one-armed bandits at any casino you find yourself in.

You’ll find these table games in Cripple Creek casinos:

  • Blackjack
  • Craps
  • Roulette
  • Ultimate Texas Hold’Em
  • Three-Card Poker
  • Wild Six Card Draw Poker

Blackjack Variants in Cripple Creek

Blackjack comes in many different varieties these days. In addition to standard 6- or 8-deck shoe games, Cripple Creek casinos offer several variants, including:

  • Buffalo Bonus Blackjack
  • Buffalo Bonus Blackjack 2
  • Double-Up Blackjack
  • Double-Deck Pitch

The minimum bet is usually $5, but some casinos in town have special days where the minimum bet is $2 or $3. Colorado’s maximum allowable bet is $100.

Poker Rooms

Poker rooms or house-banked tables are available at the following properties:

  • Bronco Billy’s
  • Wildwood Casino
  • Century Casino
  • Double Eagle Casino
  • Midnight Rose Hotel & casino
  • Brass Ass Casino
  • Johnny Nolon’s Casino

Central City

Just up the street from Black Hawk is Central City, which saw the very same rush of prospectors invading the city during the mining boom. In its heyday, Central City had a larger population than Black Hawk. Today, it’s the smaller of the two casino towns, featuring about a third of the number of casinos. Central City is a slot-lover’s paradise, and a perfect gambling spot for people who value the personal service offered by smaller casinos.

Sports Betting in Central City

For the moment, there are no operational sports betting windows in Central City. However there have been some prominent partnerships made between global sportsbook brands and casinos in town:

Grand Z Casino and Johnny Z’s have expressed interest in offering sports betting, but no partnerships have been announced yet.

Casino Games

Not all casinos in Central City have table games, it’s a more slot-focused casino town. Table games are still closed at casinos statewide until further notice, but the town does offer several table game options.

You’ll find these table games in Central City casinos:

  • Blackjack
  • Craps
  • Roulette

Poker Rooms

Poker rooms or house-banked tables are available at the following Central City properties:

Colorado Casinos Post-Covid

Have Colorado Casinos Opened Post-Pandemic?

Colorado casinos are open for business, thanks to a pair of variance approvals exempting Teller and Gilpin Counties from provisions of CO. Gov. Jared Polis ‘safer-at-home’ order.

For now, all guests and employees must wear masks at all times, and you’ll find mandatory temperature screenings at the entrance of every casino. Only slots are open for now, with table games slated to be revisited by health officials in early July.

Cripple Creek casinos opened June 15 after receiving a variance from Teller County health officials. The casinos will be limited to 50% occupancy and all visitors must wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines. The opening will be restricted to slot machines only, with table games set to reopen later as long as there isn’t a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in the county.

Gilpin County, home of Black Hawk and Central City, reopened casinos on June 17.

Tribal casinos in the southern part of the state are holding off on reopening for now, however. Read our report for more information on the state of casino reopenings in La Plata and Montezuma County here.

Further Reading

We’ve been extensively covering the reopening. Here’s some of our additional coverage in case you missed it:

What About Tribal Casinos In Colorado? Are They Open?

The two tribal casinos in Colorado remain closed. La Plata and Montezuma counties, home of Sky Ute and Ute Mountain casinos, will not be allowed to open until the trajectory of their COVID-19 cases starts trending downwards.

When Did Online Sports Betting Launch In Colorado?

As of May 1, online sports betting is officially live! Colorado sports bettors can join the action right now with big-name players like DraftKings Sportsbook, Fanduel Sportsbook, BetMGM, and many more.

Colorado’s retail casinos have yet to open in-person sports betting windows or kiosks, with Saratoga Casino in Black Hawk the first of two exceptions. DraftKings has opened a temporary sportsbook window at the Mardi Gras Casino, also in Black Hawk, on Friday, July 10.

Learn everything you need to know about legal sports betting in Colorado.

Colorado Casino FAQ

Where are Colorado casinos located?

Colorado’s 33 casinos are chiefly located in Black Hawk/Central City and Cripple Creek. Black Hawk and Central City share a main thoroughfare, and are about 45 minutes from downtown Denver. Cripple Creek is about a two hour and 15 minute drive from Denver.

The state’s tribal casinos are located in Montezuma and La Plata counties, and are located about a 6-7 hour drive from Denver.

What is the maximum bet in Colorado?

When Colorado casinos first opened in 1990, the maximum bet allowed by law was just $5. In 2008, the maximum wager was raised to $100. These caps do not apply to sports betting, however.

There are initiatives in the works that would remove the cap on the max bet, including Proposition 257, but so far none have materialized.

Do Colorado casinos offer free drinks?

Nearly all casinos in Colorado offer beverage service to players, most for free. What will change casino to casino is whether the free drinks for players are limited to certain items (just beer, for instance.) Other casinos provide free top-shelf alcoholic drinks to all players. If drink service is important to you, check with the casino to see what they offer.

Are there hotels at Colorado casinos?

Many of the casinos in Colorado offer lodging, especially the larger ones. Check the casino website to find out if they have rooms available and make reservations if you plan an overnight stay.

About the Author

Chris Nesi

Chris Nesi is Managing Editor of Colorado Sharp. He’s been an editor and writer for more than a decade, with experience spanning newspapers, magazines, digital news, and commercial writing. His work can be found in publications including TechCrunch, Mental Floss and Huffington Post. Chris lives just outside of Denver and enjoys regular trips to Black Hawk. He bets the hard ways and always splits 8s.