Colorado is home to some world-class poker rooms. Its residents can play poker any day of the week. Live tournaments, limit and no-limit Texas Hold ’em and more are all available in the casinos scattered around a few cities like the Black Hawk and Cripple creek.
History of Poker in Colorado
Like many states in the USA, Colorado’s history with gambling is intertwined with a boom in mining. It retracts well into the 19th century, dotted with tales of fortunes lost and won, of games square and crooked.
Legend has it that Colorado hosted the first real money poker and casino house in the United States called Brown’s Saloon, in the Black Hawk. A town that would later become the home base for gambling and poker games so classic; it would sweep the entire State.
Fast track to the 20th and 21st century, poker gambling plays a significant role in Colorado’s economy. But the economic benefits didn’t come tricking in in twos and threes until 1988 when the government passed a regulatory act that allowed tribal factions to operate poker rooms legally within their grounds.
Despite this rule, casinos playing for real money started cropping up in Black Hawk. The State then passed regulations limiting the casinos’ operation. For example, the maximum wagering amount was $5. Also, they could only operate during regulated hours and only allowed players over 21 years.
In 1990, the State allowed blackjack and poker players to play for real money. The law was further relaxed in 2008, spurring a second boom in gambling and expanding to internet casinos. The minimum wagering amount rose from $5 to $100.
Is poker legal in Colorado?
Few states in the USA are lax towards gambling and poker gaming. Colorado is one of them. Its statutes are mild. Their law enforcers hardly pursue real money poker players with vigor, focusing on internet gambling operators instead.
The State allows social gaming. Meaning, the operators or players cannot exploit each other for money.
The house offering action cannot charge players or take rakes. But it can hold as many poker games as it wants.
They can’t charge an entry free. They can only sell drinks, and that also shouldn’t have a minimum buy attached.
If donations or entry fees are mandatory in poker events for charity, then the event cannot give prizes, making it a not-for-profit event.
Still, the State defines gambling rather broadly, and can also include poker under its scope. And even though the legislature penned these laws before online poker was a thing, it infers that playing online poker for money might be illegal.
The maleficiaries of this law are operators rather than players. Players get away with a reprimand. Operators are charged with Class I misdemeanors if it’s their first time. Any subsequent violations attract Class 5 felony charges.
As stated, the legality of playing poker online in the State of Colorado is on neutral grounds, so it is better left to the legal professionals to decide.
Colorado differs vastly from Vegas. The residents have little or no love for gambling, so it’s not remarkably known for its casino culture.
But, this doesn’t mean that there are zero casino rooms in the State. Colorado has a fair share of brick-and-mortar casinos in over five cities.
These poker rooms not only have a wide variety of cash games, but they also hold regular tournaments, attracting hundreds of players.
The famous poker tournaments in Colorado’s history include the World Series Circuit and the Colorado Open Championship.
So, if you are a poker enthusiast, these are the rooms you might want to visit;
• 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)
Online poker in Colorado
As it is, online poker in Colorado isn’t particularly legal. Like most states in the USA, iGaming prospects here aren’t dim, but they are not bright either.
At least, there are plans to revise the iGaming laws in Colorado in the next few years.
However, you can still enjoy internet poker. But it would be best if you were careful with the sites you pick.
Offshore sites that accept players from the United States are available for Colorado residents. Compared to what the outside world has, it’s not a wide selection, but they are still high quality and have some of the best features.
Bovada Poker is easily number one in the list of best online sites in Colorado. They offer a decent quick-fold poker thanks to their massive traffic. They are consistent in their payouts; BTC withdrawal can take as little as 6 hours. They deliver paper checks within 7-10 days.
It’s another online poker room among the top ten sites for players. You’ll get active real money cash games up to the $5/10 NL, especially if you log in at night. Their tournament traffic is one of the best, with the most extensive Sunday guarantee. BTC payouts take 18-24 hours, many variations of poker are available, and they have one of the best customer services.
Just like their close competitors, BetOnline also offers $5/10 NL games for active cash. They have dozens of active tables, fast payouts, and a pretty low minimum check withdrawal.
Is there any future for the gaming industry in Colorado? Yes. At least, as at now, sports betting is legal. The bill was passed in November 2019 and effected from May 1. That is hope for Colorado’s online poker players. It looks like they might see some legislation in a couple of years.