Though Colorado was an early adopter of sports betting, the Centennial State has yet to make moves to bring online casinos to its residents and visitors. Why might that be?
As you’d probably expect, the answer is very nuanced. Precious little has been done to bring online casinos to Colorado. Offshore and gray market sites target markets like Colorado, aiming to get players to use their platforms.
However, you should steer well clear of these online casinos, no matter how “legal” or “regulated” they claim to be. On this page, we’ll cover all the reasons you should stick it out and wait for legal online casinos in Colorado, rather than stooping to an offshore site.
Show Me the Money: Colorado Sets Record in Sports Gambling Tax Collection
Legal Online Casinos vs. Offshore Online Casinos in Colorado: The Differences
The primary difference between legal and offshore casinos? Legal casinos are…legal.
Offshore casinos are typically legal and licensed in the jurisdictions where they’re based, but they offer their products in markets that still prohibit online casino gaming. That makes them risky to use.
One simple way to tell if you’re playing at a legal online real money casino in Colorado: you aren’t. Online casinos are not legal in Colorado, so any platform that allows you to play for real money is doing so illegally.
If you’re still unsure whether you’re playing at a legal platform, check the bottom of the homepage for licensing information. The site might say it’s licensed in Malta, Gibraltar, or another overseas country. Again, the casino is probably legal there, but it’s still outlawed in Colorado.
Unregulated Online Casinos: The Downsides
The primary downside is that these sites are not regulated or governed by a trusted US organization. They aren’t necessarily out to get you, but they do come with inherent risks.
First and foremost, you may not know their security standards. Playing at an offshore site could put your information at risk.
Second, the payment methods on offer are usually limited, forcing you to resort to methods you might not feel comfortable using. On the other hand, they may have reliable payment methods, but players often hesitate to share banking or ACH eCheck details with a site they don’t inherently trust.
Offshore sites may also have limited game libraries, gouging RTP percentages, and bad customer service.
All in all, they’re a recipe for disappointment on top of being illegal to use in Colorado.
Why Online Casinos Could Be Good for Colorado
Money money money! For real, that’s one of the primary reasons any state legalizes gambling: revenue. Online casinos would certainly boost Colorado tax revenue, but exactly how much is dependent on how the taxes and fees are structured.
Then, of course, there’s the benefit to players. If you live in Colorado (if you’re visiting), legal online casinos would be available to you. No trip to a retail property required!
Plus, the sheer variety of Colorado’s sports betting market bodes well for the state’s online casino prospects. More platforms breed more competition, meaning players will get better bonuses, more games, and a wider selection of apps to choose from.
The Case Against Colorado Online Casinos
Compared to other, more contentious markets (lookin’ at you, New York and California), Colorado’s path to online sports betting was pretty smooth. Online casinos could be the same.
Opposition in cases like this usually centers around general opposition to gambling or issues with who gets to run the online platforms. Colorado has 26 sports betting apps, so it spreads the love. We expect online casinos would have a similar structure in the state.
As of this writing, there doesn’t appear to be a ton of opposition to Colorado online casinos. It’s just a matter of the state legislature taking action to legalize, which we’ll cover next.
When Is Colorado Expected to Legalize Online Casino Apps?
Colorado seems to have it all. Thirty land-based casinos, a bustling sports betting industry, and a generally progressive populace. But there hasn’t been much progress in terms of online casino legislation. In fact, there’s been none at all.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what the hold-up is for Colorado online casinos. Legislators could introduce a bill as soon as next year, or it could be many years before The Centennial State sees meaningful progress toward real money online casino sites. Right now, your guess is as good as ours. One thing’s certain: we have our eyes on Colorado and will track legal updates from the state carefully.
What To Expect When Colorado Legalizes Online Casinos
If Colorado sports betting is anything to go by, the state’s online casinos will be plentiful. The state has more than two dozen sportsbooks. That many online casinos would create a competitive market, which is great for players.
Colorado land-based casinos would likely get in on the action, launching their own online platforms and integrating their rewards programs for loyal players.
It’s safe to assume many of the sportsbooks already live in Colorado would jump at the opportunity to launch online casinos in the state. Some operators famous for offering both, with sportsbooks already live in CO are:
- BetRivers (online casino branded as SugarHouse in some states)
Those are all safe bets to be among the first online casinos to go live in Colorado, if and when the state authorizes platforms to go live. Golden Nugget — thought currently absent from the CO sportsbook list — is another top contender for an online casino launch in the state.