Cripple Creek is a former mining town that is part of the Colorado Springs area, situated south of Denver. With an area of merely 1.53 square miles and at an elevation of 9,500 feet, for many years, Cripple Creek was no more than a cattle pasture.
However, this all changed in 1890 during the Colorado gold rush, which saw the population rise from 500 to 10,000. Gold ore to the value of $500 million was unearthed from the area.
While mining continues in Cripple Creek to this day, it is now known as more of a gambling and tourist destination. Casino gambling was legalized in Colorado in 1990, and this saw Cripple Creek revitalized.
This page covers all the legal casinos you can visit in Cripple Creek, along with recent news and an overview of what you’ll find at each.
The guide provides details on the casinos’ affiliation with sportsbook brands. Then, we look at the changing gambling laws in Colorado, before finishing with a history of Cripple Creek.
Colorado casinos likely feel déjà vu, as their status could change at a moment’s notice just as it did nine months ago. Here’s the latest.
The CO Secretary of State approved the signatures to get Initiative No. 257 on the November ballot. It could be the relief casinos need.
Cripple Creek gamers abide by new health and safety restrictions, while casinos there report increased business.
With Teller County’s variance approval, Colorado casinos in Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek can open next week.
Cripple Creek forms the county seat of Teller County. The district received the status of a National Historic Landmark in 1961. The arrival of casinos began in 1990, making it a popular destination for gamblers today.
The following casinos operate in Cripple Creek.
You’ll find information on each casino, including plans to link up with sportsbooks below.
Brass Ass Casino gets its name from the painted wooden brass donkey in its table games room. It is one of the original brass donkeys that launched boats at the 1893 World Exposition in Chicago.
It makes up one-third of the Triple Crown casinos (alongside Midnight Rose and McGill’s in Cripple Creek). It is the oldest casino and is open 24/7.
In the casino, you’ll find up-to-date video poker and slots, as well as blackjack, high-five poker, craps, three-card poker, and roulette. The Brass Ass also offers the largest selection of nickel slots in town.
Grab a bite to eat at Miner’s Pick or buy a souvenir at the casino’s gift shop.
The casino has been approved for a master sports betting license, with any potential sports betting partnership to be announced soon.
Head into the casino at Bronco Billy’s and you’ll find more than 800 slots, video poker, blackjack tables, craps, and more.
Named the best casino by the Colorado Springs Gazette every year since 2013, and by the Colorado Springs Independent every year since 2015, there is little doubt that Bronco Billy’s is a significant player in Cripple Creek.
This casino hosts five restaurants: Home Cafe, Baja Billy’s Catina, The Steakhouse, Rudy’s Diner, and The Crippled Cow.
You can book a table at The Steakhouse for bone-in ribeye, lobster tail, fresh salmon, and pasta. It has an expansive wine selection and more.
Mile High Rewards is the comp/loyalty scheme for regular customers.
Full House resorts of Las Vegas recently agreed to offer sports betting at Bronco Billy’s in partnership with BetAmerica.
Described as “the grandest hotel and casino in Cripple Creek,” Colorado Grande Casino is located at an iconic corner of downtown Cripple Creek.
The casino opened in 2012 and features more than 200 slots; you can even enjoy some of those classic coin-operated machines.
Sign up to Maggie’s Club loyalty scheme, while Maggie is also the name of their main restaurant, where you’ll find full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus.
Head to Jack’s Coffee Bar to relax and enjoy a “BlackJack Americano,” a “Spades Latte” and much more.
No decision has been made about partnering with a sportsbook brand at the time of writing.
Double Eagle Casino first opened its doors in August 2006.
It is the larger casino in Cripple Creek, with floor space covering 15,000 square feet. The casino has been likened to a Las Vegas-style site, with slots overtaking two floors, two bars featuring video poker, and a selection of table games. In all, there are nearly 500 gaming machines available.
You can participate in slots tournaments every Monday and Thursday.
Visit Winfield’s, the fine-dining option, which is open Friday and Saturday evening. Lombard’s offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner from 6:30 a.m. daily.
In July 2019, the Double Eagle Hotel & Casino announced it is partnering with the global operator PointsBet for its sports betting operation. The deal was subject to the referendum on sports betting in Colorado being passed, which it duly was in November 2019.
J.P. McGill’s is an Irish-themed hotel and casino in the heart of Cripple Creek. The casino has more than 300 gaming machines.
Head up to the mezzanine level, where you can enjoy the games while overlooking the action on the casino floor. McGill’s, one of the three Triple Crown casinos in Cripple Creek (alongside the Brass Ass and Midnight Rose), features video poker, slots, and progressive prizes.
Head to McGill’s Pint & Platter to enjoy the Irish memorabilia and enjoy pub fare, seafood, steaks, soups, sandwiches and Mexican options. Head upstairs to the hotel if you want to stay the night.
McGill’s was one of the first properties to launch an online sportsbook. It partnered with Rush Street Entertainment to launch BetRivers on May 1, 2020.
Johnny Nolon’s Saloon & Gambling Emporium has the tagline, “Where the slots are looser.”
According to a 2016 Colorado gaming statistics report, its games were deemed 18% looser than at rival casinos. The site features more than 250 gaming machines, all housed in an impressive 5,900 square feet of floor space.
Check out the current progressive jackpot prizes on its website to know the games to head to and grab a player’s card to gain the latest loyalty promotions.
Head to Johnny’s Restaurant for food from 8 a.m. daily.
Johnny Nolon’s is yet to commit to a partner sportsbook brand at the time of writing; expect an announcement in the coming months.
Midnight Rose Casino is the third and final Triple Crown-backed casino on this list.
In the casino, you’ll find a range of games, including video poker, classic reels, new penny slots and progressives. Much like the previous casino on the list, Midnight Rose has also laid claim to having “the loosest slots in town.”
Head to Dynamite Dick’s Dining Emporium for a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu, where decadent desserts such as key lime cheesecake and red velvet cake can put the finishing touches to any meal.
Stay overnight at the Roman suite, the royal suite, and the western suites.
Midnight Rose used its online sportsbook license to launch BetMGM sportsbook on May 1, 2020.
Enjoy Vegas-style gaming at “the highest casino in the world.” Enjoy a range of more than 500 classic slots, the newest games, video poker and table games in a Vegas-style casino.
Wildwood Casino also lays claim to the largest gaming floor in town. Stay at the casino and enjoy incredible mountain views. Sign up for the Players Club loyalty scheme and enjoy earning points while you play, while you can also gain access to special members’ only benefits.
Enjoy slot tournaments on select Sundays.
Eat at Joe’s Diner for breakfast and appetizers throughout the day, while Woody’s Sports Bar & Grill offers pizza, chicken wings and hotdogs.
Wildwood Casino is in the process of partnering with a sportsbook.
The first legalized casino gambling in modern times came about due to a referendum in 1990.
The Colorado Gambling Initiative was put to a public vote, which would decide whether casino gaming would be allowed in Cripple Creek, as well as Central City and Black Hawk.
Nearly 575,000 people voted yes, while about 428,000 opposed it.
Referendums seem to be a popular way of deciding all gambling-related issues in Colorado, as another took place in 2019.
This time around, the referendum asked whether sports betting should be allowed in the state. It was a much tighter vote, but the yes majority won. This vote took place because of a relaxation in federal law, which left the decisions on whether to allow sports betting to individual states.
In Colorado, the sports betting is all based around the casinos.
Each casino in the state can apply for a master license, which, if successful, means they can nominate both a retail and an online sports betting partner.
As of May 1, online sports betting is officially live in Colorado. However, with casinos closed in the wake of coronavirus, the retail launch of sportsbooks will have to wait.
Sports bettors in Colorado can now place a sports wager at the casino itself or through a mobile app through an affiliated sportsbook.
To place a sports bet, you must be 21 years or older and be physically present in the state. If you try to use the app to bet outside of Colorado, the geolocation software on your mobile device will bar this taking place.
Cripple Creek is 44 miles southwest of Colorado Springs, near the base of Pikes Peak.
Before 1890, it was a cattle pasture, but this all changed later that year when Robert Millar (Bob) Womack discovered a rich ore in the region, which saw the start of the last Colorado gold rush.
Thousands flocked to the region and Winfield Scott Stratton located the famed Independence Lode, which would extract 13,669 pounds of gold.
The population of 500 quickly grew to 10,000, but the success of this town was short-lived due to two disastrous fires. On April 25, 1896, a fire swept through Cripple Creek, destroying half the city, including the majority of the business district. Just four days later, another fire destroyed the other half. The majority of the buildings in Cripple Creek standing today are the ones built in the aftermath of these two fires.
Like many mining towns at the time, the formation of a union (the Western Federation of Miners), which led to strikes and the calling of the national guard to protect miners from anti-union violence. A combination of the strike and the Colorado labor wars saw a struggle that would take many lives.
Today, there is still mining in operation in Cripple Creek, conducted by the Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mining, an operation that runs 24/7. However, up until 1990, a large part of this century saw Cripple Creek become almost like a ghost town. Yes, the picturesque buildings were there, but the people weren’t, aside from a few restaurants and bars catering to tourists.
It all changed when the new casino laws brought life back into Cripple Creek, both in terms of revenue and people.
As well as the casino gaming, visitors can enjoy the Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad that passed through ghost towns and goldmines. The Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine provides tours into a real working gold mine.