CO Dept. of Revenue Executive Director Hints At Online Casino Legalization

Written By Corey Sharp on 07/13/2023
CO online casinos

The Colorado Department of Revenue Executive Director announced that talks are brewing to bring online casinos to the Centennial State.

Legalizing Colorado online casinos would add another revenue stream to the state, and could also compete with other jurisdictions.

As most states have legalized online sports betting, online casinos have not moved forward at the same pace. Only six states have legal online casinos available. The online casino industry is beginning to heat up as Rhode Island became the latest state to pass legislation. Colorado could be next.

Dept. of Revenue Executive Director announces online casino talks are happening

Department of Revenue Executive Director Mark Ferrandino told the crowd at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCGLS) in Denver that “talks are underway about legalizing online casino gaming in the state.”

Members of the CO State Legislature would need to pass the online casino bill, signed by the governor and then would go to the voters to approve. After that process, retail casinos could apply for licenses and partner with online operators. There are more than 30 casinos in the following cities:

  • Black Hawk
  • Central City
  • Cripple Creek

For reference, the Colorado legislature approved a sports betting bill in the spring of 2019 and voters made legal sports wagering available in November of 2019. The CO sports betting market launched in May of 2020. Since then it has been one of the most-desired markets in the US.

The spring of 2025 appears to be the earliest Colorado online casinos would start to launch.

What would the online casino industry look like in Colorado?

Colorado has 20 sportsbooks available, second to only New Jersey’s 22. With more than 30 casinos in the Centennial State, there will be plenty of licenses to go around.

Online casinos are legal in the following six states:

  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • Michigan
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • West Virginia

Pennsylvania is the top online casino market among the six. The Keystone State has achieved six straight months of revenue north of $160 million. Back in March, the state broke the US iGaming record with $181.5 million in online casino revenue.

Michigan and New Jersey online casinos are slightly behind Pennsylvania. Michigan online casinos average $156.7 million in revenue through May while New Jersey is almost identical at $156.3 million.

Connecticut, Delaware and West Viriginia are much smaller states to compare Colorado’s potential output to. While it might be a stretch to put Colorado in the same ballpark as Pennsylvania, states such as New Jersey and Michigan could be better touchpoints for Colorado.

Colorado online casinos are preparing for launch

With online casinos nearing in the Centennial State, online operators are already planning to enter the market. Being first to market could mean the difference between success and failure.

PlayStar Casino partnered with GF Gaming, which owns Famous Bonanza and Easy Street Casinos in Central City, in October 2022.

Adam Noble, PlayStar’s co-founder and chief business development officer, understands how crucial it is to plan ahead. He said back in October:

“PlayStar is a brand that’s committed to providing players in the US with a genuinely unique online casino experience – and by teaming up with GF Gaming in Colorado, we’re already looking ahead to how we can expand these plans into the next market when regulation allows.”

PlayStar is live in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Once online casinos do launch in Colorado, other operators such as FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM are sure to enter the fray.

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Corey Sharp

Corey Sharp is a gambling writer and insider who covers Arizona, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. He now turns his focus to Colorado online gambling. Corey previously worked as a writer and editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC Sports Philadelphia.

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