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Colorado Gambling Laws

Maybe you’re heading out to Black Hawk to try your hand at blackjack, or to Arapahoe Park to play the ponies. Or maybe you’re hosting some buddies for a poker night or throwing $20 into an office March Madness pool, hoping the Buffs make the Sweet Sixteen. Whether in your office break room or a betting window, Colorado’s gambling laws cover all of these activities in the Rocky Mountain State. This is a brief summary of gambling laws in Colorado.

Gaming Law in Colorado

Certain types of gaming and gambling are illegal under state gaming statutes, although many states have begun to relax gambling statutes and to permit limited casinos and other gaming venues like card rooms. Colorado’s gambling laws allow some betting on horse and dog racing and some full-fledged casinos in certain cities. Charitable games, social gambling, bingo and raffles are also permitted.

Colorado Gambling Statutes

The specifics of Colorado gambling laws are listed in the table below.

Code Section

COLO. REV. STAT. §18-10-101 et seq.: Gambling

COLO. REV. STAT. §12-60-101 et seq.: Racing

COLO. REV. STAT. §12-47.1-101 et seq.: Limited Gaming Act


Risking money or any other thing of value for gain contingent in whole or part upon lot, chance, or the happening or outcome of an event over which the person taking a risk has no control.

Horse Racing/Off-Track Betting

Effective April 21, 2003, off-track simulcasts permitted. Out-of-state simulcasts permitted. Parimutuel wagering only.

Dog Racing/Off-Track Betting

Greyhound races permitted; off-track simulcasts permitted. Special event greyhound race simulcasts from out of state permitted. Parimutuel wagering only.

Casinos Allowed?

Limited: slot machines, poker and black jack with maximum single bet of $5. Only allowed in cities of Central, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek. Indian reservation casinos allowed.

Other Kinds of Gambling-Related Activities Allowed or Banned

Election wagers banned; gaming for charitable organizations allowed. Social gambling allowed. Bingo and raffles regulated by the secretary of state.

Gambling and gaming laws can cover everything from casinos and racetracks to state lotteries and election wagers. State laws also regulate the government divisions or gaming commissions that control industry practices, such as licensing employees and regulating the games and finances. Many states also create strict zoning ordinances to separate casinos and racetracks from schools and residential areas. At the federal level, all gambling establishments on Indian reservations must adhere to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Colorado Gambling Laws: Related Resources

Gambling restrictions can vary from state to state and can limit certain activities within the state. If you would like legal advice regarding a gaming matter, you can contact a Colorado gaming law attorney in your area. You can also visit FindLaw’s Gaming Law section for more information and articles on this topic.

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