Colorado has been at the forefront for legalization when it comes to some of the country’s most polarizing and interesting issues. Obviously one of the biggest is marijuana, which has been legal in the state for a while. Will Colorado be one of the trailblazers, pardon the pun, for legalized sports betting as well?

Not so fast, my friend. What Colorado has in terms of open-mindedness for weed, they seem to lack when it comes to gambling. Title 18 prohibits sports gambling and it is a crime. Limited gambling is available at three casinos in the state, but it isn’t nearly as widespread as it is in a lot of other states. Colorado just hasn’t really made gambling a priority at any point, but now it is knocking loudly on the front door as other states make the push for legalization.

Unlike some of the other states, Colorado faces a two-step process in reverse order. A lot of states simply need a vote from the populace to introduce the conversation and then the legislature can discuss how best to proceed or to proceed at all. When it comes to the state of Colorado, the legislature has to get over the wall first before the people can vote about following suit. Then the ball would be back in the government’s court to see if sports wagering is implemented in the state.

The plus side is that Colorado, unlike other states, can have a more accelerated timeline with the process because of the scheduling for the legislature. This will be an interesting state to follow because of the order of the hoops and the very isolated locations of the state’s casinos.

Recent News Stories About Betting

A really fascinating breakdown from CBS 4 in Denver, including video, looks at the locations of casinos and the process it will take to get sports betting approved statewide.

Tripp Baltz of Bloomberg spoke with lawmakers and executives who seem to be on board with legalized sports betting, but the timelines are again the question.

Per the Denver Post, legalization won’t be a topic in 2018, but unlike some states that look to introduce initiatives every other year, it could be at the top of the list for 2019.


Colorado seems like a mortal lock to adopt sports betting within the next 2-3 years. The isolation of the state’s casinos and the limited number of race tracks can serve as piece of mind for voters and legislators, as it won’t be nearly as simple as driving 15 minutes in any direction to place a bet. The downside risk from a social standpoint will be lowered and Colorado can still take its cut, which has helped with marijuana in terms of improvements to infrastructure in the major cities.

Neighboring States