Colorado is one of the few “square” states that seems to be all for online Internet real money poker and casino gambling. Home to the Grand Canyon, the Denver Broncos and approximately 40 tribal and commercial legal casinos, the Centennial State has an amenable relationship with lawful poker betting, largely due to more than $750 million that CO State’s casinos generate in annual revenue.

Given its booming casino industry, which has multiplied by a factor of five over the past five years, it comes as little surprise that Colorado would have a vested interest in pursuing an Internet gambling bill in 2021 that would cover real cash betting on games like Texas Hold’em and other poker variants. And while no official gambling website act has been brought before the CO Senate floor yet, the state’s pro-gambling factions are likely to make a possible push for legal Internet poker in the near future.

It’s cold in The Rockies. Stay inside and have fun by wagering on any of our real money US poker websites.

Colorado One Of 10 States Most Likely To Regulate Online Gambling

In 2014 The gambling industry authority, Gambling Compliance [1], announced that at least 10 states were poised to either expand or regulate real money Internet poker or casino games in 2014 [2]. And while it was certainly expected that states like Illinois, California and Pennsylvania would weigh in on the issue, at the time few surmised that Colorado would appear on the short list of states primed to bring legal real cash poker and online gambling to the masses.

But as it turns out, several of Colorado’s gambling and betting interests, including CO State’s largest casino operator, Pinnacle Entertainment, are open to the idea of creating legal poker websites for people in the Rocky Mountain state in 2021. And according to Lois Rice, executive director of the Colorado Gaming Association, talks with some legislators who were interested in pursuing real money Internet poker betting have already taken place [3].

Before passing an iGaming Act relating to lawful Texas Hold’em poker websites and other gambling sites, it is expected that Colorado’s state officials will closely analyze the performance of New Jersey’s and Nevada’s lawful online gambling markets. . As implied by Rice, CO State’s gambling proponents would be hard pressed to move forward with regulating Internet poker until they could more accurately predict the effects online Internet gambling would have on its already thriving land-based casino and real money poker industry.

Although early numbers out of New Jersey indicated that online gamblers are of a different stock than their brick and mortar casino and poker betting counterparts [4], the Internet poker and gambling industry is still in its infancy, rendering the data incomplete.

Latest Colorado Poker News

Colorado Considers Online Gambling Colorado Considers Online GamblingBy Todd Wilkins
Another state has emerged as a candidate to regulate online poker and gambling, as Colorado lawmakers are said to be considering legislation.…

Can Players From Colorado Play Online Poker?


Given Colorado’s exceedingly liberal stance with regards to land-based legal poker and casino games for gambling fans, it doesn’t come as a huge surprise that 2021 poker websites currently accepting US players are acquiescent to patrons of Colorado who want in on the real cash Texas Hold’em action on the Internet. The same can’t be said for Utah, the Centennial State’s neighbor to the West.

So if you were worried that signing up to play online Internet poker for real money would prove more difficult than traversing the Grand Canyon – fear not. Our hand-picked list of the best legit poker websites on our homepage are designed to do most of the heavy lifting for you, allowing you to kick back, and click away to enjoy the poker betting fun.

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Is Playing Online Poker legal In Colorado?


As one of only a few non-coastal states that facilitate gambling, Colorado’s 2021 gambling statues are generally mild in nature. The Rocky Mountain state’s law enforcement agencies rarely pursue real cash poker players with vigor, focusing the majority of their efforts on Internet gambling operators instead.

Still, CO State’s definition of gambling is exceedingly broad and can easily be interpreted to include poker betting under its scope:

Gambling means risking any real money, credit, deposit, or other thing of value for gain contingent in whole or in part upon lot, chance, the operation of a gambling device, or the happening or outcome of an event, including a sporting event, over which the person taking a risk has no control. Section 18-10-102(2)

Just the phrase relating to chance, implies that playing offline or Internet poker in 2021 is considered gambling.

The definition goes on to list several exceptions, one of which pertains to social gamblers:

Exempt is 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. Section 18-10-102(2d)

In order to fully gauge the aforementioned definition, it is imperative to understand how the state sees professional real cash gambling.

Professional gambling means: (a) Aiding or inducing another to engage in gambling, with the intent to derive a profit therefrom; or (b) Participating in gambling and having, other than by virtue of skill or luck, a lesser chance of losing or a greater chance of winning than one of more of the other participants. Section 18-10-102(8)

In other words, real money poker players who cheat or goad fish betting in a poker game into a gambling setting with the intention of exploiting them are considered professional gamblers. Operators could be classified as professional gamblers as well. Otherwise, in so long as the house doesn’t charge a fee or take a rake, playing Texas Hold’em or any other kind of poker shouldn’t present an issue.

The penalties for participating in illicit gambling activities are minimal, at worst:

A person who engages in gambling commits a class 1 petty offense. Section 18-10-103

In short, gamblers receive a slap on the wrist. Operators, on the other hand are subject to class 1 misdemeanors for first offenses, and class 5 felonies for subsequent violations.

Regarding online poker, the law is less direct:

Whoever knowingly transmits or receives gambling information by telephone, telegraph, radio, semaphore, or other means or knowingly installs or maintains equipment for the transmission of receipt or gambling information commits a class 3 misdemeanor. If the offender is a repeating gambling offender, it is a class 6 felony. Section 18-10-106

Certainly, this statue was penned before the advent of Internet poker websites and online gambling. Yet conveniently, it does indirectly infer that running an online real cash Internet poker operation within Colorado’s borders is in fact illegal. That being said, the definition only applies to those who conduct gambling operations, not to the poker players who are betting.

As you can see, the legality of playing online poker in Colorado in 2021 resides in a murky gray area, and the decision about how legal poker websites are is best left to a legal professional to decide. However, to our knowledge no one has been prosecuted for wagering real money online on Internet poker games.

For more on Colorado’s state code [5], please refer to the “References” section.

The Facts

The History Of Gambling In Colorado

As far back as the early 1800s, gold miners, prospectors and trappers either living in Colorado or simply passing through CO spurred the growth of gambling within the state. It’s widely believed that Colorado was home to the nation’s first real cash poker and casino gambling house, a saloon that went by the name Brown’s Saloon. Brown’s was located in Black Hawk, Colorado [6] – a town that would later on serve as home base for the gambling and betting boom that would sweep the state.

Despite laws that rendered gambling illegal, real money wagering on Texas Hold’em poker and other games continued on in Colorado well into the early-1900s. But it wouldn’t be until much later on (the late 20th century) that the first legal poker rooms and casinos would open their doors to the public.

In 1988, the Federal government passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which effectively allowed tribal factions to operate legal poker games and casinos within their grounds. Fast forward three years later and casinos offering real cash poker and casino games were already beginning to crop up in Black Hawk and nearby Central City.

However, Colorado imposed severe limitations on how casinos could conduct their operations. For instance, the maximum wager that a betting fan could place was a paltry $5. Also, casinos could only operate during designated hours and only CO players over the age of 21 were permitted to take part in gambling on poker and other games by betting.

That being said, the Colorado Limited Gaming Act of 1990 did allow for blackjack, slot machines and most notably poker. The law would be relaxed in 2008, thus ushering in a second real money poker and gambling boom; one that has continued to this very day and has even stretched to Internet poker. To date, Colorado boasts approximately 40 commercial and tribal casinos and reaps in five times the annual gambling revenue than it did just five years earlier thanks to a range of lawful real cash poker games and other casino classics.

In 1983, Colorado legalized the sale of lottery tickets and today permits players to participate in a wide variety of real money lottery gambling formats, including the multi-jurisdiction Powerball and Mega Millions drawings.

Regulated Gambling Options In Colorado

Since 2008, casino and legal poker gambling in Colorado more closely resembles that found in popular gambling states like New Jersey and Nevada. Many of Colorado’s largest casinos now boast several considerably sized real cash poker rooms full of betting options for CO residents, the majority of which are located in Central City and Black Hawk.

Pari-mutuel wagering, lottery sales and charitable bingo and raffles are also permitted within Colorado State – not bad for a state that only first introduced regulated legit poker and casino gambling into its culture 30 years ago.

The Future Of Regulated Online Gambling In Colorado

In late 2013, Colorado lawmakers began drafting an iGaming bill that would authorize real money gambling at online Internet poker websites. The effort stalled, but it proves that Colorado’s powers-that-be are beyond the point of merely discussing an iGaming act, and ready to take action in 2021 on the issue of Internet gambling.

Fun Fact

In 2010, a Colorado Supreme Court refused to weigh in on the skill vs. chance debate with regards to both offline and Internet poker [7]. The debate began two years earlier, when the state’s Bureau of Investigation arrested five gambling operators for holding a $20 real money poker tournament. Pro-poker advocates were in an uproar, using the opportunity to advocate poker as a game of skill and therefore legal for betting on.

The charges against the real cash poker operators were eventually dropped, although the jury did not state the reasoning behind the verdict. Afterwards, one of the accused, Kevin Raley, with support from the Poker Player’s Alliance, asked the Supreme Court to examine the case. It did not oblige.

The Bottom Line

Expect Colorado to move forward with iGaming legislature relating to legal poker websites and Internet casinos in 2015 and beyond. The regulated poker and gambling market is still too new for cautious lawmakers to pursue an act with vigor, and Colorado’s casinos and real money poker rooms are already doing well enough to justify waiting a bit longer before introducing a new sector into the already expansive CO real cash gambling scene.

Considering that the proper regulatory oversight committees are already in place, once an iGaming bill for Internet poker and gambling websites is signed into law, it probably wouldn’t take more than a year before the first online Internet poker room opens its virtual doors to real money poker players in CO.
That being said, it’s considerably more likely that Colorado, like Nevada, will only pursue making Internet poker websites legal in 2021. The good thing is, Colorado’s hefty population of 5.2 million, many of them avid real cash poker players, could indeed produce a healthy online Internet poker betting community.


[1] Gambling Compliance

[2] 10 states primed to expand Internet gambling opportunities in 2014

[3] Colorado explores online gambling as virtual and mobile casinos boom

[4] Borgata Boss: Online Poker is No Threat to B&M Casinos

[5] Colorado Legal Resources

[6] Black Hawk, Colorado

[7] Colorado Supreme Court rejects poker case

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