Following months of planning by state government officials and regulators, online sports betting officially launched in Colorado today. The Centennial State forged ahead with its long-targeted May 1 launch date despite the continued absence of many major sports leagues amid concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.
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Following the November 2019 passing of Proposition DD in which residents narrowly approved the measure to formally legalize Colorado sports betting, both online and retail sportsbook locations are permitted to operate. However, as the state’s numerous casinos remain shuttered over COVID-19 concerns, those looking to wager are turning solely to internet and mobile-based sportsbooks for the time being.
Colorado Sports Betting Apps
It is widely expected that Colorado online sports bettors will have access of up to 17 different sportsbook platforms by the end of the calendar year, but only four of those–DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, BetMGM, and BetRivers–began operations at the time of the state’s May 1 launch. Here are the sportsbook’s currently in business and what you need to know about each.
Boston-based DraftKings Sportsbook is one of America’s leading online sportsbooks. After launching a highly successful daily fantasy app back in 2012, DraftKings positioned itself to be at the forefront of U.S. legal sports betting during the summer of 2018 and hasn’t looked back.
DraftKings Sportsbook offers its new users up to $1,000 in free bets, but is an attractive option for bettors in Colorado for reasons beyond the signup bonus. In addition to a user-friendly interface and sleek design, the DraftKings Sportsbook app offers a wide range of betting options from which to choose. Notably, DraftKings often runs several creative and fun betting specials, including enhanced payouts and odds boosts.
You can sign up for DraftKing Sportsbook here.
BetRivers has experienced early success on the east coast. Offering a $250 first deposit match to new users, BetRivers sustains its user base with daily odds boosts and a full compliment of sports betting options.
You can sign up for BetRivers Sportsbook here.
Colorado is the fifth state in which FanDuel Sportsbook has an online offering, and if its performance in other states serves as any indication, it figures to quickly become a local industry leader.
FanDuel Sportsbook offers new players a $500 risk-free bet at sign up, but player perks are accessible to new and current players. The FanDuel Sportsbook app offers several sports betting outcomes, including point spreads, moneyline odds, player props, and live in-game betting.
Also noteworthy are the consistently creative (and sometimes headline-grabbing) promos. For example, FanDuel previously offered crazy odds with adjusted spreads by making the Sixers a more than 50-point underdog and the Colts a more than a 30-point underdog during this past winter. Bettors in CO should expect similar promos featuring the likes of the Broncos, Rockies, Avalanche, and Nuggets.
Though it trails the performance of popular brands like DraftKings and FanDuel in states like New Jersey and Indiana, BetMGM is another solid Colorado online sports betting option. BetMGM offers new users a $500 risk-free first, and while it doesn’t offer betting specials with the frequency or fanfare of its competition, it did run a 200 to 1 payout for those who correctly picked the winner of Super Bowl 54.
Sports Betting in Colorado
Lawmakers began working on legalizing Colorado sports betting after the Supreme Court’s 2018 decision to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. Lawmakers put together HB19-1327, a bill receiving bipartisan support that would make it legal to bet on sports both online and at retail locations.
Colorado’s TABOR laws required that the bill be put to public vote and thus it was added to the state’s general election ballot last November in the form of Proposition DD. The measure passed, though there were some tense moments, presumably because of ambiguous language that created confusion regarding public tax burden (there is none).
Questions existed in the weeks leading up to the anticipated May 1 launch of Colorado online sports betting over whether or not the state would move forward with the planned date in the wake of the current widespread shutdown of sports. Decision-makers, however, moved to proceed as planned, bringing about the immediate launch of four online sportsbooks.