Colorado Gambling Laws


Gambling laws in Colorado include many types of betting. Live horse racing is allowed if cash is put into a pari-mutuel pool. Racing sites and taverns permit off-track wagering. In 2014, greyhound was outlawed in the state when the last track was shut down. However, greyhounds allow off-track wagering. Colorado Division of Gaming. Fraudulent Acts 'Find a penny, pick it up,' might be a familiar childhood rhyme, but in Colorado casinos, keeping found money in or from a casino is a violation of state gaming law. When Colorado voters legalized limited gaming in 1990, slot machines typically used coins: pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. Feb 11, 2021 A gambling vessel could sail past the territorial sea into the contiguous sea. The United States has limited jurisdiction in the contiguous sea, which is the area 12-24 nautical miles from shore.


Bulletin #DateSubject Areas
Bulletin 111/27/2019Sports Betting Licensing & Fees
Bulletin 204/16/2020Initial Implementation
Bulletin 304/20/2020Geofence Requirement
Bulletin 404/22/2020Sports Betting Integrity
Bulletin 504/22/2020Payment of Winner - Reserves

'Operating Fees']

On April 16, 2020, the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission approved the following Operating Fees for Sports Betting:

  • Internet Sports Betting Operator Licensee OR Master Licensee conducting internet sports betting:$54,000
  • Sports Betting Operator Licensee OR Master Licensee conducting retail sports betting:$12,500

These fees are set for Fiscal Year 2020, taking effect May 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020.

In November 2019, Proposition DD was passed with a vote of the people allowing for legalizing sports betting in Colorado, making Colorado one of many states now letting people place bets on sporting events since the Supreme Court ruling struck down a law that banned sports betting in most U.S. states. With the passage of Proposition DD, and the legislative bill passed by the Colorado General Assembly in May 2019, the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission and the Colorado Division of Gaming are the statutory authority over the regulation of the legalized sports betting in Colorado.

In anticipation of the passage of the proposition, the Division of Gaming has been reviewing best practices and regulations from other states already allowing legalized sports betting and will be using this knowledge, along with engaging industry stakeholders, to establish rules and licensing standards for sports betting in Colorado. Since 1991, the Division of Gaming and the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission have overseen a strong and robust industry of limited stakes gaming in Colorado, and the Division will apply the same successful regulation model to ensure the integrity of the sports betting industry.

Below you will find information published by the Division of Gaming related to the work to implement a regulatory framework for sports betting in Colorado:

Sports Betting Email Distribution List Sign-upLimited Gaming Control Commission Agendas
Colorado General Assembly HB19-1327

Sport Betting Rules]

These copies of the rules are provided as a convenience to the public by the Colorado Department of Revenue and do not constitute an official publication. The official version of these rules is published by the Office of the Secretary of State in the Colorado Code of Regulations and may be obtained from the Colorado Secretary of State's website.
Effective 4/14/2020

Videos from Round 1Stakeholder working groups:

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-#1 General Rules:

-#2 Compliance:

-#3 Technology:

-#4 Integrity & Information:

-#5 Responsible Gaming:

Videos from Round 2 Stakeholder working groups:

-#1 General Rules Morning Sesion:

-#2 General Rules Afternoon Session:

Last Checked: August 1, 2011

(1) It is declared to be the policy of the general assembly, recognizing the close relationship between professional gambling and other organized crime, to restrain all persons from seeking profit from gambling activities in this state; to restrain all persons from patronizing such activities when conducted for the profit of any person; to safeguard the public against the evils induced by common gamblers and common gambling houses; and at the same time to preserve the freedom of the press and to avoid restricting participation by individuals in sport and social pastimes which are not for profit, do not affect the public, and do not breach the peace.

(2) All the provisions of this article shall be liberally construed to achieve these ends and administered and enforced with a view to carrying out the declaration of policy stated in subsection (1) of this section.

Source: L. 71: R&RE, p. 477, § 1. C.R.S. 1963: § 40-10-101.


Annotator's note. Since § 18-10-101 is similar to former § 40-10-3, CRS 53, and laws antecedent thereto, relevant cases construing those provisions have been included in the annotations to this section.

This article prohibits gambling, the keeping of a place where gambling is commonly carried on, the keeping at such place, and exhibiting of gambling devices, and the betting of money or other property upon the results of any game. Everhart v. People, 54 Colo. 272, 130 P. 1076 (1913).

The legislative intent of this section is to prevent public gambling, and includes the risking of money or anything of value between two or more persons, on a contest of either chance, skill, or hazard, where one must be the loser and the other the gainer. Everhart v. People, 54 Colo. 272, 130 P. 1076 (1913).

The declaration of this section evidences a continuation of the policy against gambling for profit in Colorado. Condado Aruba Caribbean Hotel, N.V. v. Tickel, 39 Colo. App. 51, 561 P.2d 23 (1977).

Golf match not 'gambling'. A golf match, participated in and bet on by four golfers, in which each of the four, by his playing, had control over the outcome did not constitute 'gambling' as defined in § 18-10-102 (2). Berckefeldt v. Hammer, 44 Colo. App. 320, 616 P.2d 183 (1980).

'Social gambling' specifically allowed. This section changed the common law and specifically exempted 'social gambling' from the ambit of forbidden conduct. Houston v. Younghans, 196 Colo. 53, 580 P.2d 801 (1978).

'Social gambling' is game incidental to bona fide social relationship, participated in by natural persons in no way connected to professional gambling. Houston v. Younghans, 196 Colo. 53, 580 P.2d 801 (1978).

Gambling debts owed to a for-profit gambling business are still unenforceable in this state, despite the repeal of former C.R.S. 1963, section 40-10-13. Condado Aruba Caribbean Hotel, N.V. v. Tickel, 39 Colo. App. 51, 561 P.2d 23 (1977).

State Of Colorado Gambling Laws

The declaration of this section does not support the contention that, although gambling is illegal and against public policy when it occurs in Colorado, it would not be contrary to public policy to enforce gambling debts incurred where gambling is legal. To the contrary, in the above legislative declaration there is a policy restraining any activities related to gambling conducted for profit, when not specifically sanctioned by statute, including collection of any gambling debts. Condado Aruba Caribbean Hotel, N.V. v. Tickel, 39 Colo. App. 51, 561 P.2d 23 (1977).

This section commands that the act be liberally construed. Bridge v. People, 63 Colo. 319, 165 P. 778 (1917).

Because of this section, care need be exercised that neither by illogical construction nor by loose language this article be so circumscribed as to defeat its purpose and usefulness. McBride v. People, 126 Colo. 277, 248 P.2d 725 (1952); Patterson v. People, 138 Colo. 368, 333 P.2d 1047 (1959).

This section declares that the definitive statute shall be liberally construed for the detection and punishment of offenders. Fischer v. People, 138 Colo. 559, 335 P.2d 871 (1959); Patterson v. People, 138 Colo. 368, 333 P.2d 1047 (1959).

State gambling legislation did not preempt municipal ordinance. Woolverton v. City & County of Denver, 146 Colo. 247, 361 P.2d 982 (1961), overruled insofar as it invalidated the theory of mutual exclusion where it related to matters of both state-wide and local interest in Vela v. People, 174 Colo. 465, 484 P.2d 1204 (1971), which held that in strictly local and municipal matters ordinances of home rule cities apply to the exclusion of state statutes.

Section 18-10-102 - Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) 'Gain' means the direct realization of winnings; 'profit' means any other realized or unrealized benefit, direct or indirect, including without limitation benefits from proprietorship, management, or unequal advantage in a series of transactions.

(2) 'Gambling' means risking any money, credit, deposit, or other thing of value for gain contingent in whole or in part upon lot, chance, the operation of a gambling device, or the happening or outcome of an event, including a sporting event, over which the person taking a risk has no control, but does not include:

(a) Bona fide contests of skill, speed, strength, or endurance in which awards are made only to entrants or the owners of entries;

(b) Bona fide business transactions which are valid under the law of contracts;

(c) Other acts or transactions now or hereafter expressly authorized by law;

(d) Any game, wager, or transaction which is incidental to a bona fide social relationship, is participated in by natural persons only, and in which no person is participating, directly or indirectly, in professional gambling; or

(e) Repealed.

(f) Any use of or transaction involving a crane game, as defined in section 12-47.1-103 (5.5), C.R.S.

(3) 'Gambling device' means any device, machine, paraphernalia, or equipment that is used or usable in the playing phases of any professional gambling activity, whether that activity consists of gambling between persons or gambling by a person involving the playing of a machine; except that the term does not include a crane game, as defined in section 12-47.1-103 (5.5), C.R.S.

(4) 'Gambling information' means a communication with respect to any wager made in the course of, and any information intended to be used for, professional gambling. In the application of this definition the following shall be presumed to be intended for use in professional gambling: Information as to wagers, betting odds, or changes in betting odds. Legitimate news reporting of an event for public dissemination is not gambling information within the meaning of this article.

(5) 'Gambling premises' means any building, room, enclosure, vehicle, vessel, or other place, whether open or enclosed, used or intended to be used for professional gambling. In the application of this definition, any place where a gambling device is found is presumed to be intended to be used for professional gambling.

(6) 'Gambling proceeds' means all money or other things of value at stake or displayed in or in connection with professional gambling.

Colorado Gambling Laws

(7) 'Gambling record' means any record, receipt, ticket, certificate, token, slip, or notation given, made, used, or intended to be used in connection with professional gambling.

(8) 'Professional gambling' means:

(a) Aiding or inducing another to engage in gambling, with the intent to derive a profit therefrom; or

(b) Participating in gambling and having, other than by virtue of skill or luck, a lesser chance of losing or a greater chance of winning than one or more of the other participants.

(9) 'Repeating gambling offender' means any person who is convicted of an offense under section 18-10-103 (2) or sections 18-10-105 to 18-10-107 or sections 12-47.1-809 to 12-47.1-811 or 12-47.1-818 to 12-47.1-832 or 12-47.1-839, C.R.S., or sections 18-20-103 to 18-20-114 within five years after a previous misdemeanor conviction under these sections or a former statute prohibiting gambling activities, or at any time after a previous felony conviction under any of the mentioned sections. A conviction in any jurisdiction of the United States of an offense which, if committed in this state, would be professional gambling shall warrant a prosecution in this state as a repeating gambling offender.

(10) 'Vintage slot machine' means any model slot machine, as defined in section 12-47.1-103 (26), C.R.S., that was introduced on the market prior to January 1, 1984.

Section 18-10-103- Gambling - professional gambling - offenses.

(1) A person who engages in gambling commits a class 1 petty offense.

(2) A person who engages in professional gambling commits a class 1 misdemeanor. If he is a repeating gambling offender, it is a class 5 felony.

Source: L. 71: R&RE, p. 478, § 1. C.R.S. 1963: § 40-10-103.

Section 18-10-105 - Possession of a gambling device or record.

(1) Except as provided in subsection (1.5) of this section, a person who owns, manufactures, sells, transports, possesses, or engages in any transaction designed to affect the ownership, custody, or use of a gambling device or gambling record, knowing that it is to be used in professional gambling, commits possession of a gambling device or record.

(1.5) The sale, transportation, manufacture, and remanufacture of gambling devices, including the acquisition of essential parts therefor and the assembly of such parts, is permitted if such devices are sold, transported, manufactured, and remanufactured only for transportation in interstate or foreign commerce when such transportation is not prohibited by any applicable foreign, state, or federal law. Storage of gambling devices is also permitted but only for purposes of manufacturing, remanufacturing, and transporting such devices in interstate or foreign commerce when their transportation is not prohibited. Such activities may be conducted only by persons who have registered with the United States government pursuant to the provisions of chapter 24 of Title XV of the United States Code, as amended. Such gambling devices shall not be openly displayed, except to legal buyers, or sold for use in Colorado regardless of where purchased, nor manufactured, remanufactured, or stored for purposes of manufacture, remanufacture, and transportation in violation of any applicable state or federal law. For purposes of this subsection (1.5), 'legal buyer' means a buyer who resides in another state or country which does not restrict the possession of the specific gambling device in question.

(2) Possession of a gambling device or record or violation of subsection (1.5) of this section is a class 2 misdemeanor. If the offender is a repeating gambling offender, it is a class 6 felony.

Source: L. 71: R&RE, p. 478, § 1. C.R.S. 1963: § 40-10-105. L. 88: Entire section amended, p. 739, § 2, effective April 29. L. 89: (2) amended, p. 841, § 94, effective July 1.

Section 18-10-106 - Gambling information.

(1) Whoever knowingly transmits or receives gambling information by telephone, telegraph, radio, semaphore, or other means or knowingly installs or maintains equipment for the transmission or receipt of gambling information commits a class 3 misdemeanor. If the offender is a repeating gambling offender, it is a class 6 felony.


Is Gambling Illegal In Colorado

(2) Facilities and equipment furnished by a public utility in the regular course of business, and which remain the property of the utility while so furnished, shall not be seized except in connection with an alleged violation of this article by the public utility and shall be forfeited only upon conviction of the public utility therefor.

Source: L. 71: R&RE, p. 478, § 1. C.R.S. 1963: § 40-10-106. L. 89: (1) amended, p. 841, § 95, effective July 1.

Section 18-10-107 - Gambling premises.

(1) Whoever as owner, lessee, agent, employee, operator, or occupant knowingly maintains, aids, or permits the maintaining of gambling premises commits maintaining gambling premises.

(2) All gambling premises are common nuisances which shall be subject to abatement as provided by law.

(3) Maintaining gambling premises is a class 3 misdemeanor. If the offender is a repeating gambling offender, it is a class 6 felony.

Source: L. 71: R&RE, p. 479, § 1. C.R.S. 1963: § 40-10-107. L. 89: (3) amended, p. 842, § 96, effective July 1.

Section 18-10-108 - Exceptions.

Colorado Gambling Limits

Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to modify, amend, or otherwise affect the validity of any provisions contained in articles 9, 47.1, and 60 of title 12, C.R.S.

Colorado Gambling Laws Age

Source: L. 71: R&RE, p. 479, § 1. C.R.S. 1963: § 40-10-108. L. 91: Entire section amended, p. 1582, § 9, effective June 4.

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