Colorado Accepts First-Ever Retail Sportsbook Wager

Call it one small bet for man, one giant leap for Colorado sports betting history.

On Wednesday morning, June 17, as casinos in Black Hawk opened their doors to guests for the first time since March 17, the Betfred Sports sportsbook at Saratoga Casino accepted the historic first retail sports bet in the state at 8:00 a.m.

The groundbreaking bettor was Rob “Rescue Rob” Wagner, a Denver Broncos superfan, who wagered on his team to win the Super Bowl at 55/1.

On hand to commemorate the occasion was Betfred Sports COO Bryan Bennett, Acting GM of Saratoga Casino Black Hawk Marcus Rohrbaugh, and former Denver Bronco Karl Mecklenburg.

Colorado sports betting became legal on May 1 near the height of the pandemic, when land casinos and most major U.S. sports leagues were postoponing or canceling their seasons. Despite those limitations, online sports betting took in more than $25.5 million in gross, unaudited revenue.

Cripple Creek casinos just reopened on Monday, June 15 after being closed for nearly three months. Black Hawk and Central City casinos followed suit two days later, but so far no other land casino in the state has an operational sports betting window.

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.