Black Hawk started as a mining community at the peak of the gold rush in 1859. After a period of decline, casinos were allowed here following a statewide referendum in 1990. Today, Black Hawk (along with nearby Central City) is a thriving tourist destination.
Casinos in Black Hawk have an advantage over those in Central City. While both are part of the same historical district, zoning laws are more relaxed in Black Hawk. This means modern hotel towers and larger resorts are possible. The Isle Casino and Ameristar are two examples of resorts that have taken advantage of this.
This page has you covered for legal casino gambling and sports betting in Black Hawk. Below you’ll find an overview of what to expect at each of the casinos and Black Hawk gambling news.
This Memorial Day weekend feels like a culmination of the last year. For the first time, people have a reason to celebrate.
Casinos in Colorado will finally have the opportunity to offer unlimited gaming and expanded table games starting this Saturday.
Black Hawk is located in Gilpin County, which is to the west of Denver. It is the least populated “city” in Colorado, with just 118 residents in a recent census. Black Hawk and Central City together form a designated historical area. They are linked by a tram.
You’ll find information on each property, including whether it has or plans to have a sportsbook, in the section below. The following casinos operate at Black Hawk:
This casino opened in 2001, becoming the biggest casino in Colorado. It has 1,280 slots and 40 table games, plus a 22-table poker room. It is owned by Gaming Leisure Properties. This property is managed by Penn National Gaming (which owns Hollywood Casinos in many states). With Penn National partnering with Barstool Sports for online betting, a Barstool-themed sportsbook is expected at this venue.
In addition to the gaming, there is a hotel with more than 500 rooms and a spa at this location. You can dine at a buffet, deli or at the Fireside Kitchen or Timberland Grill. You will also find a bar and showroom, which has regular events at Ameristar.
You’ll see the Isle of Capri first if you enter Black Hawk via Highway 119. This resort has a hotel linked to both the Isle of Capri Casino and Lady Luck Casino. This is another of Black Hawk’s larger casinos. You’ll find more than 900 slots (including video poker games), 28 table games, and a 10-table poker room at this venue. This casino is run by Eldorado Resorts, which is currently undergoing a corporate merger with Caesars. It would not be a surprise to see a Caesars branded sportsbook at the Isle Casino.
There are meeting rooms plus dining options available. These include the Farmer’s Pick Buffet, Starbucks, the Dash Café, Simply Yummy Baking Company, and Roxy Restaurant and Bar.
Isle of Capri Casino
This is one of two Black Hawk venues owned by Jacobs Entertainment. The Lodge features more than 900 gaming machines (slots and video poker terminals) and 17 table games. This venue does not have a dedicated poker room. It displays a list of the current “hot slots” on its website, with percentage payouts showing you which machines are currently the loosest.
Jacobs Entertainment has announced a partnership with theScore to bring mobile sports betting to Colorado.
There is a small (50 room) hotel at this venue. Dining options include the White Buffalo Grille, Seasons Buffet, Jake’s Deli and Cinnabon.
This venue was known as the Riviera Casino until 2013. This is another of the larger casinos in the Black Hawk / Central City historical district. There are 750 slots, 14 casino table games and a dedicated poker room at this venue. You’ll find this casino located next to the popular Isle of Capri hotel and casino.
You’ll find multiple dining and entertainment options. These include a nightly lobster buffet, pho buffet, Chicago Dogs Eatery and All the President’s Favorites restaurant. There are multiple bars, with live entertainment featured on Friday and Saturday nights.
Saratoga is a racetrack in New York state — though a Black Hawk Casino now has the same name. Fitzgerald’s Casino was bought by Saratoga Horse Racing Inc. in 2013, prompting the name change. This casino has over 500 slot machines and a small selection of casino table games, including blackjack, craps and roulette. It holds regular promos for players, including drawings and kiosk games.
Saratoga Casino has announced a partnership with the betting giant Betfred to bring both retail and online sports betting capability.
This smaller venue has a single restaurant and two bars. The Main Street Café is a casual dining restaurant. The main floor bar gives you complimentary beers while you play, and the separate Mill City Chophouse and Bar has an extensive cocktail list.
This is one of three venues owned by the Twin Rivers Group. The others are the Golden Gates Casino and Golden Gulch Casino. Twin Rivers works with both DraftKings and FanDuel, but the license for Golden Mardi Gras is explicitly for DraftKings to operate its online sportsbook. Presumably, the retail sportsbook will also boast the DraftKings name when it opens. Between the casinos, there are more than 650 slots and 33 casino table games.
Mardi Gras has four dining options. These are the Bourbon Street Café, Creekside Deli, Jesters Bar and Masquerade Bar. Like the casino, these bars are open 24/7.
This venue is linked to the Isle of Capri Casino. Not only via shared ownership. There is also a physical link in the form of a pedestrian bridge from the parking lot. This is a smaller venue than the Isle, with just 400 slots and seven table games to enjoy. Both are owned by the Eldorado Group, which is in the process of merging with Caesars Entertainment.
There is only a single restaurant at Lady Luck. Otis’ Bar and Grill has American cuisine in a casual environment. With the pedestrian bridge to the Isle Casino, there are several more dining options easily accessible.
Lady Luck Casino
Named after the county that Black Hawk is in, The Gilpin Casino is owned by Jacobs Entertainment, which also owns The Lodge. There are more than 370 slot machines at this venue. You will also find table games such as blackjack, roulette, and three-card poker.
The owners have announced a partnership with media brand theScore for online sports betting.
Dining options include Lucile Malone’s. This venue serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with an extensive menu of American classics. This casino (together with The Lodge) has a loyalty scheme called the “Winners Club.” This gives rewards based on play levels, including free play and dining credits.
This casino has recently rebranded to Z Casino after being acquired by Johnny Z’s in 2013. It is a smaller casino than many other Black Hawk properties. There are 435 slots/video poker terminals and just four casino table games. The lower floor of the casino is nonsmoking. The Z Casino has a sister property in Central City, Grand Z’s.
As well as the small hotel, there are two places to eat in this casino. You can choose from the Mustang Grill or the Z Café. Entertainment options can be found at the Mile High Room, which regularly features free live music from local acts.
This property has the same owner as the Golden Mardi Gras casino, Twin Rivers. What makes this property different from the others in the group is the extensive poker room. This is located above the main casino (which offers slots and limited table games).
Twin Rivers has partnerships with FanDuel and DraftKings. They will work together to bring retail and online sports betting apps to Black Hawk. While Golden Mardi Gras officially holds the DraftKings license, Golden Gates is the licensee working with FanDuel.
This Main Street-based venue is proud to be the first casino to open in Black Hawk. Compared to some of the hotel/casino/spa-type properties, this is a small venue. You’ll find 216 slots here — including video poker. This is owned by the same people that run the Station Casino, which is directly across the street. This is not a 24/7 operation. Instead, it is open from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. each day.
The Wild Card Saloon is located in a historic three-story building. You can enjoy the view from the top floor, with a restaurant and bar selling mixed drinks, beer, and homemade food.
This is another saloon-style casino. The slots surround a large bar. There are 188 gaming terminals in total, a mix of slots and video poker machines. This casino has a reputation for friendly staff and a fun atmosphere. There is a reward system known as the “Sharp Shooters Club” at the Bull Durham Casino. This provides cash back based on play, plus entry in drawings.
The main entertainment option is the bar, which is inside the casino. Dining options here include the (self-proclaimed) best hot dog in Black Hawk.
The last of the three “Golden” casinos to be listed on this page, this venue is also owned by the Twin Rivers Group. This casino opened back in 2003 and is located in a former jailhouse. There are 140 slot and video poker terminals located here. Twin Rivers has partnered with DraftKings and FanDuel. Both retail and online sportsbooks will become available.
Entertainment options are limited with the size of the building. There is a snack bar, though no regular restaurant. You can enjoy a craft beer (among the usual mix of beers, wines, and liquors) at the Golden Gulch Bar.
This small casino is located in what was once the real station. While there are only 127 slots, this venue is a firm favorite with the locals. This casino is under the same ownership as the Wild Card Saloon and Casino, which is directly across the street.
There is only one dining option, and the Station Casino is way too small to include a hotel. You can eat at Shirley and Ed’s Grille, which serves burgers, sandwiches, and prime rib.
Black Hawk Station Casino
There are two Red Dolly casinos in Colorado. One is in Black Hawk, and the other is in nearby Central City. The Black Hawk casino is one of many small casino/bar-type venues you’ll find on Gregory Street. There are more than 120 slots and electronic terminals. Many slots are classics from IGT, Aristocrat and others. You’ll find a gallery showing pictures of real slot hits on the website.
You’ll find a single restaurant and bar at the Red Dolly Casino. The menu is varied (American and Mexican cuisine) with prime rib featured. This casino is not 24/7 like many in Black Hawk. It is open from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.
A big attraction at this smaller Black Hawk casino is a “real” sasquatch right in the middle of the casino floor. There is more to the venue than this novelty, with 145 slot machines, plus video poker terminals. This is another of the area’s smaller saloon-style casinos, and it has a reputation for friendly service.
There are two dining options at this location. Harry’s Pizza and Grill is for casual dining. If you prefer something more filling, then the Sasquatch Steak House has prime rib specials, steaks, and fish. Most casinos are 21+, though the Sasquatch has an arcade area that is suitable for children. This includes racing games, Pac-Man and pinball.
This settlement got started back in 1859 at the height of the “Gold Rush.” A prospector named John H. Gregory discovered gold in a ravine between what is now Central City and Black Hawk. This was named “Gregory Gulch.” It started a frenzy of miners, with Black Hawk becoming a settlement. The settlement officially became a city just five years later.
Things boomed for a while. A railway line was set up, along with a tramway to Central City. After the gold rush fizzled, Black Hawk went into decline.
In 1990, a statewide referendum passed, allowing casino gambling in three historical districts in Colorado. Black Hawk saw its chance for revival, with the first casinos opening in 1991. This settlement was the first place reached on the highway from the Denver area — giving its casinos a boost. Zoning laws allowed for the larger hotels, including Ameristar, to be built.
The introduction of sports betting via a referendum passed in 2019 will give another boost to the casinos in Black Hawk.
Casinos such as the Mardi Gras, Golden Gates, Golden Gulch, Ameristar, and Lady Luck will see retail sportsbooks open in 2020. With many more partnerships with online sportsbook operators still to be confirmed, there could be even more sports betting opportunities for visitors.
Only Deadwood in South Dakota rivals Black Hawk when it comes to transforming from a mining community to thriving casino destination. That mix of history and saloon-style casinos with the big hotel and spa casino resorts gives Black Hawk a unique appeal.
Casinos in this historical city vary considerably in size. The smallest has just over 100 slots, while the biggest have 1,000+along with scores of table games and poker rooms. You’ll find entertainment, dining, and bar options at all the casinos. With many next door to one another, it is easy to spend time checking out several different properties.
Sports betting partnerships have already been announced at the bigger casinos. National betting brands including FanDuel, DraftKings, and Barstool Bets are scheduled to open in 2020. With more partnerships still to be announced, the rich history of Black Hawk casinos could be entering yet another chapter soon.