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Colorado Sports Betting

Editor’s note: As of Jan. 13, 2021

By the slimmest of margins, Colorado became the 19th state to legalize sports betting on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019.

Proposition DD, which asked voters to approve a sports wagering tax that would support water conservation around the state, passed 50.7 percent to 49.4 percent.

The measure opens the door for the state’s casinos to apply for licenses for retail and/or online sportsbooks. Bets can be cast on professional and college games, motor sports, Olympic games and more.

The first bet was cast on May 1, 2020 as state officials wanted to leave enough time to fine-tune the operation. That was too late for a bet on Super Bowl LIV, but soon enough for that night’s scheduled game between Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies and the Phillies in Philadelphia.

The casinos will pay a 10 percent tax on net proceeds with most of the money funding Colorado’s water plan. Sports betting is anticipated to bring in about $11 million in the next fiscal year starting July 1. That number is way short of what is needed to fund the water plan, which is estimated to cost $100 million a year.

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The narrow margin of victory, which wasn’t finalized until the day after Election Day, was unexpected because the initiative had little opposition. It also garnered heavy support among environmentalists and farming groups. Some cite the measure’s wording – characterizing it as a tax increase – may have confused those casting ballots. Many voters left the question blank.

Now, the Colorado Division of Gaming can get busy building a sports betting operation from the ground up including rules and regulations, licensing of casinos and sportsbooks and setting up geofencing to ensure bets are coming from inside the state.

Is sports betting currently legal in the state?

Betting is legal and was officially implemented on May 1, 2020.

What is the legal age to bet on sports in Colorado?

21 years old

Where will Coloradans be able to bet?

Casinos, most of them in the state’s mining towns, will offer both retail and mobile betting. Online and mobile apps will make sports betting available anywhere within state lines.

What sports will be available for wagering?

Professional and collegiate sporting events, motorsports, and Olympic Games will be open to betting.

Betting will be prohibited on high school contests and prop bets will not be allowed on collegiate sports. Officials are concerned amateur athletes could be influenced to alter the outcome of contests.

What about horse racing?

Betting on horse racing has been legal in the state for some time and you can use authorized operators in the state such as  TVG and Bet America

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