- Colorado Online Gambling Laws
Colorado is a reasonable state to live in for poker players. On one hand online poker is illegal (at least that's a reasonable interpretation), but on the other hand it's possible to play poker live in any licensed casino, as well as at home in a social setting. So even though the state of Colorado views poker as a game of chance, and consequently illegal, players still have several opportunities to play this game legally.
Playing Poker in Colorado
The purpose of this article is twofold. First, we attempt to summarize the current legal status of online poker in the United States. You may be surprised to learn that, despite a confusing legal landscape, it is generally accepted that playing online poker is currently legal in the U.S., at least at the federal level. Online Gambling In Colorado Colorado is pretty clear on their stance as relates online gambling, according to the Department of Revenue website: Internet gambling is illegal under state and federal laws. Colorado law prohibits the transmission or reception of gambling information by any means. Live poker isn’t your only option. You can also play poker online for real money in Colorado. There are several benefits to playing poker online, especially when you compare it to live poker. You’ll have more than six poker rooms to choose from.
Is Online Poker Legal in Colorado?
As is the case with most state laws, online poker isn't specifically addressed. However, there are a number of passages that lead us to believe that the laws for online poker lean more towards being illegal.
The risking of money or other thing of value for gain contingent in whole or in part upon lot, chance, or the happening of an event over which the person taking the risk has no control.
Poker is considered a game of chance in Colorado. So that's strike 1.
'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.
You could argue that machine means the internet, your computer, laptop or mobile device. There's strike 2.
Section 18-10-106 (1)
'...knowingly transmits or receives gambling information by telephone, telegraph, radio, semaphore, or other means or knowingly installs or maintains equipment for the transmission.'
You could argue that this includes transmitting over the internet. Strike 3, you're out.
There are loopholes, of course. For example, in 18-10-102, it mentions professional gambling activity, which in Colorado tends to mean operating a poker operation, not necessarily being a professional poker player.
However, the attorney general has also mentioned that internet gambling in Colorado is illegal. You can find this on the official Colorado website. So any loophole you think you’ve found at this point is rendered useless.
What About Home Poker Games?
Like most states, home poker games are fine so long as no one is profiting from cover charges, rake or donations.
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;
And ss I mentioned above, under Colorado law 'professional gambling' is running a gambling business, not being a professional gambler or poker player.
Do Casinos in Colorado Offer Poker?
Absolutely. You'll find poker games at the Doc Holiday Casino in Central City and at the Gold Rush Hotel and Casino in Cripple Creak, just to name a couple.
Colorado Poker FAQs
We get a lot of questions about whether or not poker is legal in Colorado. Here are those questions and our answers.
Will online poker be regulated in Colorado?
There has been rumors of the Colorado Gaming Association discussing the topic, but there’s nothing to get excited over. Nothing has gone before legislation.
However, there was a study in 2011 that showed that the state will lose money if they don't eventually regulate online poker. At the same time, according to the attorney general internet poker is illegal in Colorado. So we have mixed feelings on the future of the regulation of online poker in Colorado It's like a coin flip.
Is there an online poker room that accepts players from Colorado?
Yes. Colorado players should be able to sign up virtually anywhere that accepts US customers. Colorado isn't one of those states that poker sites prohibit from signing up. So you should be able to find action at Bovada, Sportsbetting Poker and BetOnline.
What other forms of regulated gambling is offered in Colorado?
In addition to poker and casino games, you'll find horse and dog racing, bingo and state lottery throughout the state.
Where can I read more about Colorado poker laws?
You can read more about Colorado gambling laws at:
- Colorado Gaming Association - http://www.coloradogaming.com/
Here are some interesting facts about Colorado poker and gambling.
- Over 90% of Colorado casinos can be found in the three gambling boom towns. Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creak.
- Until 2008 the maximum wager that you could make was $5. Now players can bet as much as $100.
- Poker Pro Chance Kornuth is from Colorado. He won the $5000 PLO event at the WSOP in 2010. He beat Kevin Boudreau who was also from Colorado Springs.
- 2012 WSOP Main Event Finalist Jeremy Ausmus grew up in Lamar, Colorado, went to Colorado State University before moving to Las Vegas to play professionally and busting 5th.
Additional Gambling Law Reviews
- » Alabama Poker Laws
- » Alaska Gambling Laws
- » Arizona Poker Laws
- » Legal Arkansas Poker
- » Legal California Poker
- » Colorado Gambling Laws
- » Connecticut Poker Law Review
- » Legal Delaware Poker
- » Florida Poker Laws
- » Gambling Laws in Georgia
- » Gambling Legally in Hawaii
- » Poker Laws in Idaho
- » Illinois Poker Law Review
- » Legal Indiana Gambling
- » Online Poker In Iowa
- » Kansas Poker Laws
- » Kentucky Gambling Laws
Colorado has had a long-standing debate about onlinegambling within its borders, and this includes the legitimacy of online poker. Thesedays, as the conversation nationally is less about poker and more about the regulationof sports betting, the tide may actually be turning in favor of the game. Thispage is all about poker in the great state of Colorado – where you can play,what you can play, and how you can become a better player.
Online Poker in Colorado
Let’s start by talking about online poker, mainly becauseit is still something that Colorado residents cannot play from their state (atleast according to the government – more on that below). The 2000s were aheyday for online poker sites in the U.S., and Coloradans could register andplay at many sites that offered millions of dollars of tournament prizes everyday. But in 2006, the federal government passed a law that would make bankingtransactions for U.S. players illegal, and in 2011 the Department of Justiceseized the domains of the biggest poker sites on the planet, forcing them allout of the country.
The operation of an online poker site continues to beillegal in the eyes of Colorado law, but to date, no operator has beenindicted. With online sports betting coming to the state in 2020, it seems asthough now is a good time to strike up a conversation about possibly addingpoker to the regulations.
Land Based Poker in Colorado
Despite the ban on online poker in the state, Coloradostill has options when it comes to playing the game. The first of these is tohead to any of the available land-based poker rooms to grab a seat. While thisis obviously more cumbersome than playing from the comfort of your own home,live poker is really critical when it comes to learning the psychology of thegame and the players.
Whether you are looking to jump in a cash game or play ina tournament, the poker rooms in Colorado will have you covered. What the statelacks in numbers of rooms it more than makes up for in the number of gamesavailable. There are also an abundance of tournaments, including a couple ofmid-stakes poker festivals that run through the area each year. Everything fromlow to high stakes games can be found at any of these locations:
Ameristar Casino Black Hawk (Black Hawk, CO)
Golden Gates Casino (Black Hawk, CO)
Isle Casino Black Hawk (Black Hawk, CO)
Midnight Rose Poker Room (Cripple Creek, CO)
Social Poker in Colorado
Many Colorado residents were left stunned when the bogpoker sites shut down their American operations in 2011. While the majority ofthe focus has always been on the real money games, more than half the playerswho partook in online poker in the state did so for play money, not making adeposit. Those players were lucky enough to have a replacement enter the scenewhen social networks like Facebook launched. Social Poker companies like Zyngaand others launched games right on the platform, giving thousands of Coloradansa new home for poker.
What makes social poker so interesting is that while thegames are played for advancing levels and recognition instead of for cashprizes, players can buy chips for real money that allow them to skip the lowerlevels of play. This means that someone who wants to practice their game butwants to find good competition can buy right into those tables. This seems likea good investment for many players as these sites are bringing in billions ofdollars in sales from these chip stacks.
Subscription Poker in Colorado
Back in the early 2000s, some very smart people figuredout that poker tournaments could be considered sweepstakes in certain states ifthere was no direct entry fee, and they also found a business model under whichthis could work. With the introduction of Club WPT, players are now able to paya monthly membership fee and gain access to tournaments with over $100,000 inprizes every month, including trips to live WPT events around the UnitedStates.
The good news for residents of California is thatColorado is one of the 36 states that has access to these subscription-basedgames. Furthermore, other sweepstakes sites like Global Poker have alsolaunched and are accessible by poker players in the state. Check out ourreviews of these sites to understand exactly how they work and how you canregister and start playing!
Mobile Poker in Colorado
The legalization of online sports betting in Coloradowill result in a flood of native gambling apps available for download to phonesand tablets. This technology has been around for some time in otherjurisdictions, as have online poker apps. Today, while you can’t play realmoney poker from your mobile device, you can download one of the many free playapps in your app store. Even though the games aren’t as challenging as realmoney play, you can still get used to what it is like to play from a smallerscreen, and when real money poker comes back to Colorado, you’ll already have afeel for the gameplay.
Online Poker in Colorado FAQ
My friends tell me that there is still real money onlinepoker that can be played in Colorado. Is that right?
Your friends aren’t wrong…but they are definitelyrisk-takers. The online poker crackdown known as Black Friday in 2011 shut downmost of the big online poker sites, but a handful of smaller sites were spared,and they continue to find ways to accept American players. However, withpayment processing becoming very costly for these sites, and not that muchtraffic, the margins have to be razor-thin, leaving many worried that thesesites could go out of business, leaving players without their funds. We neverrecommend these sites as Coloradans have no recourse if something bad were tohappen.
Can I play at an online poker site in a state where itis legal?
Colorado Online Gambling Laws
Yes, this is definitely allowed. There are currently sixstates with online poker regulations (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware,Nevada, West Virginia, and Michigan). If you are traveling to one of thosestates (WV and MI haven’t launched yet), you can download and play at any ofthe available sites. However, these sites are geo=-fenced, meaning when youleave the state borders, you will lose access to the games. Still, it is worthit if you are traveling and want to get in some poker action, or if you want topurposely travel to a state like Nevada where you can win a WSOP braceletonline during the month of June!