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Introduction to Colorado Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2020
Colorado slot machine casino gambling consists of 31 casinos in the three historic mountain tows of Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek including two American Indian tribal casinos within the state.
I’ve dedicated this weekly series to slot enthusiasts such as yourself as you master casino slots and win your way to success by using this State-By-State Online Resource to improve your slots gambling performance by reviewing your state’s slots gaming industry.
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Relevant Legal Statutes on Gambling in Colorado*
The minimum legal gambling age in Colorado depends upon the gambling activity:
- Land-Based Casinos: 21
- Poker Rooms: 21
- Bingo: 18
- Lottery: 18
- Pari-Mutuel Wagering: 18
Legalized gambling arrived in 1991 for Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek. In 2008, Colorado voters approved raising the maximum bet in these towns from $5 to $100.
In November 2020, Colorado voters gave voters in these three towns the right to vote to add new games and raises the maximum bet limit for their municipality, potentially providing a boost to their economies.
The two National Historic Districts are Black Hawk/Central City and Cripple Creek. When legalized in 1991, the hope was that gaming in these towns would revive and protect them.
Slot Machine Private Ownership in Colorado
It is legal in the state of Colorado to own a slot machine privately if manufactured before 1984.
Gaming Control Board in Colorado
The Colorado Division of Gaming regulates gambling in the three historic mountain towns. This gaming control board is within Colorado’s Department of Revenue’s Enforcement Division.
Regulation of gaming at Colorado’s two tribal casinos is through their negotiated tribal-state compacts allowing Class III Vegas-style electronic gaming machines and table games.
These gaming compacts created Colorado’s two tribal gaming control commissions, which operate with support from the state gaming control board:
Casinos in Colorado
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Colorado has 29 commercial casinos and two American Indian tribal casinos with slot machines.
The largest casino in Colorado is Ameristar Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk with 1,513 gaming machines.
The second-largest casino is Monarch Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk with 1,200 gaming machines.
Commercial Casinos in Colorado
There are 29 commercial casinos within the historic mountain towns of Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek including:
Black Hawk, 50 miles west of Denver, with 5,353 gaming machines:
Central City, 4 miles west of Black Hawk, with 1,479 gaming machines:
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Cripple Creek, 112 miles south of Denver, with 2,736 gaming machines:
Central City is relatively more historic than the other two mountain towns. Black Hawk is much more of a typical casino town, nearly reminiscent of Las Vegas. Cripple Creek feels like a bit of both.
Black Hawk and Central City are only four miles apart. Consequently, there is a heated competition between these two towns for revenue since gambling legalized in 1991.
Tribal Casinos in Colorado
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Colorado has two tribal casinos:
- Sky Ute Casino Resort in Ignacio, 330 miles southwest of Denver near the Arizona border, operated by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe.
- Ute Mountain Casino Hotel in Towaoc, 400 miles southwest of Denver near the southwest corner of Colorado and 112 miles west of Ignacio, operated by the Ute Mountain Tribe.
Other Gambling Establishments
As an alternative to enjoying Colorado slot machine casino gambling, consider exploring casino options in a nearby state. Bordering Colorado is:
- North: Wyoming Slots
- Northwest: Nebraska Slots
- East: Kansas Slots
- South: New Mexico Slots
- Southeast: Oklahoma Slots
- West: Utah Slots
- Southwest: Arizona Slots at Four Corners
Each of the links above will take you to my blog for that neighboring U.S. state to Colorado.
Our Colorado Slots Facebook Community
Are you interested in sharing and learning with other slots enthusiasts in Colorado? If so, join our Colorado slots community on Facebook. All you’ll need is a Facebook profile to freely join this closed Facebook Group community.
There, you can meet online and privately share your slots experiences with local slots enthusiasts about playing slot machines in Colorado. Join us!
Payouts and Returns in Colorado
No theoretical payout limits exist for Colorado’s commercial or tribal casinos.
The Division of Gaming offers return statistics by slot machine denomination. These hold percentages come state-wide and are for each of the three historic mountain towns, but not by individual casino within those towns. Player win% is 100% minus the hold% provided.
From the recent month of October 2020, player return percentages for all denominations were:
- State-wide: 92.64%
- Black Hawk: 92.20%
- Central City: 94.18% (highest town return)
- Cripple Creek: 93.31%
These monthly reports also provide return statistics by slot machine denomination. For October 2020, they are:
For this month, $2 denomination slot machines in Black Hawk had the highest return at 96.35%. However, the state report shows there are only thirty $2 slot machines in Black Hawk, but careful evaluation of $2 returns in other months may indicate this high return was due to an outlier from a single large jackpot win.
The second-highest return is from the $1 denomination slot machines in Central City. As the state return shows 143 such machines there, it is less likely to be an outlier and more likely for a majority of the $1 slot machines in Central City.
Colorado’s two tribal casinos do not have publicly available return statistics.
Summary of Colorado Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2020
Colorado slot machine casino gambling consists of 29 commercial casinos in the historic mountain towns of Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek. Two tribal casinos are on reservations near the Arizona border and in the southwest corner of Colorado.
Annual Progress in Colorado Slot Machine Casino Gambling
In November 2020, voters approved Amendment 77 of the Colorado Constitution with 60% of residents in favor. The amendment gives local control to residents of Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek to vote to add new casino games and raise the maximum bet limit, capped at $100 since 2008.
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Otherwise, Ameristar Blackhawk added about 260 slot machines while Monarch Black Hawk climbed to second-largest casino in Colorado, moving past Isle of Capri.
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Have fun, be safe, and make good choices!
By Jon H. Friedl, Jr. Ph.D., President
Jon Friedl, LLC