Concise facts about Colorado sports betting history
Highlighting the specifics of the Colorado sports book in terms of its history is a Herculean task, as there needed to be a proper recording of the exact period when the idea of placing wagers over events was first introduced. First, however, the truth needs to be told. When the concept of "punting or gambling" was threatened in the American Frontier (Wild West) era, Colorado was widely recognized as the castle of refuge for most punters. Resulting from Colorado was a punter-protective state, a famous American vagabond-gambler (Doc Holliday) emerged. Among Doc's current gamblers included the infamous Bat Masterson. These historical figures are well-known for being Rockies casino players.
However, the 1900s saw the emergence of a new perspective on Colorado punting, especially in the aspect of Colorado sports betting. As a result, new laws were put in place to liberate the legal shackles of gambling.
Close to the mid-1900s –1948, to be precise, a 2:1 referendum was passed by Colorado citizens. This referendum was specifically for a gambling law amendment on Animal Racing. The new law created a commission dedicated to enforcing the Animal Racing law.
The law on punting on animal racing prompted the emergence of greyhound punting casinos across the American state – of Colorado within a year after its passage. These casinos operated greyhound races and opened horse racing gambling dens. The early mid-20th century saw a constitutional amendment by the Colorado government. The new constitution introduced donation-related gaming activities like Bingo into its punting industry.
Around the 7th decade of the 20th century, a new form of Colorado sports betting race evolved. This race involves a combination of horse racing and riding a chariot. It was called "Harness Racing." However, this new concept of horse race punting could only exist for a short time due to the lack of public approval.
In 1982, the then-Colorado legislative body introduced Lottery as a legal gaming act. The legislation on lawful lottery raffle draws led to the establishment of a lottery department in the revenue sector of the Colorado government. The following year saw the first set of purchases of lottery scratch cards for raffle draws from authorized vendors.
A drive for restrictive gaming was recommended by a referendum in Colorado in 1990. As a result of the emergence of this "drive," three of the Wild Western Towns in CO allowed punting activities for limited games. This was the case until the following year when the restrictive Colorado sports betting drive was legally approved. The approval led to the restriction of casinos being in operation throughout the day and the formulation of the $5 wagering limit.
The inception of the 21st century saw the introduction of interstate lotteries, which permitted various US States to participate in lottery punts. These inter-state raffle draw games include:
The $5 wager limit was increased to $100 in 2009, and the same year, table games were introduced into the state sports betting systems, creating the best sportsbooks in Colorado. Unfortunately, in 2014, the Colorado executive head – John Hickenlooper- rendered the greyhound race an unlawful activity throughout Colorado.
Sports gambling took a new turn in 2019 with a referendum that approved "Proposition DD." This referendum brought about taxes on generated income from gaming activities; these taxes were to be put into water-based government projects.
It was officially in 2020 that virtual Colorado sportsbooks were legalized in CO. However, to legally play gaming bets, casinos must get a license proof of approval from the authorized bodies.