Of all the states in the Western part of the country, Colorado is not exactly the first state you think of when you hear the words “casino gambling.” Despite this, Colorado is one of the best states—not only in the West—in the entire country for casino games. The history of the state as far as casinos are concerned does not stretch back entirely far. But in the somewhat short period of time during which casinos have been built and open for business in the state, they have surged forward and created an industry that never before existed in Colorado.
Put simply, Colorado is extremely friendly to casino gamblers. With that said, the state does play host to some unique rules which govern the way you play. Do not worry, however, because these unique rules are nothing like Alabama’s unique ban on table games.
Ameristar Casino Black Hawk
Black Diamond Casino and Saloon
Brass Ass Casino of Cripple Creek
Bronco Billy’s Casino
Bull Durham Saloon and Casino
Bullwhacker’s Black Hawk Canyon and Grand Plateau Casino
Century Casino and Hotel Cripple Creek (Womacks)
Colorado Central Station Casino
Colorado Grande Casino
Creeker’s Gaming Hall
Dan Cooper’s Eureka! Casino
Doc Holliday Casino
Dostal Alley Brewpub and Casino
Double Eagle Hotel and Casino
Double Eagle Hotel and Casino
Easy Street Casino
Fitzgeralds Black Hawk
Reserve Casino Hotel
Gold Creek Casino
Gold Rush Hotel and Casino/Gold Digger’s Casino
Golden Gates Casino
Golden Gulch Casino
Golden Mardi Gras Casino
Isle of Capri Casino and Hotel
J.P. McGills Hotel and Casino
Johnny Nolon’s Casino
Midnight Rose Hotel and Casino
Red Dolly Casino
Riviera Black Hawk Casino
Silver Hawk Saloon and Casino
Sky Ute Lodge and Casino
The Gilpin Casino
The Lodge Casino at Black Hawk
The Richman Casino Wild Card Saloon and Casino
Uncle Sam’s Casino
Ute Mountain Casino Hotel and Resort
Wild Horse Casino
Native American/Tribal Casinos
The passing of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in the late 1980s more or less paved the way for Colorado to host Native American-owned casinos. As it is in most other states where there are tribal casinos, the rules governing these sites does not necessarily replicate what state law says. The reason for this is due to the fact that Native American lands are sovereign and self-governed. As such, they can make rules for themselves. So even if Colorado had a lottery but did not allow casino gambling, Native American tribes could argue that they can, in fact, offer casino gambling. This was never a problem in Colorado seeing as the state never really held an adversarial stance to casino gambling.
Resort casinos are much more than casinos alone. The “resort” aspect of things means that, in addition to the casino floor, there are things like restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, and so much more. Colorado actually has quite a few of these. Resort casinos are great because they are a destination in and of themselves. In addition, they are a great place to bring the whole family; something you might not be able to do with a traditional, standalone casino.
Traditional casinos are, put simply, buildings that feature the casino floor and not much else than that. There might be a hotel, there might be a restaurant or bar, but apart from the actual casino there isn’t much else to talk about. This is by no means a negative thing and does nothing to take away from the top-class experience you can derive from these sites.
Colorado Casino History
The history of casino gambling in Colorado does not extend back all that far at all. In fact, it wasn’t until 1991 when the first casinos in the state were legalized and began popping up, specifically in 3 cities.
In 1991, Colorado voters passed a piece of legislation that allowed for the existence of limited stakes gambling. By definition, limited stakes gambling in Colorado means that wagers cannot exceed $100. Something that helped pass this particular piece of legislation is that the gambling that would ensue would take place in 3 different, highly historic towns—Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek. The underlying reasoning would be that tourism to these three cities would be boosted significantly. In the years that followed the passing of the pro-gambling legislation, these three cities remain the top 3 gambling destinations in the state.
Something worth noting is that while tribal Colorado casinos are able to stay open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, casinos that do not exist on tribal land are forced to close at 2AM. Typically they open 5 or less hours later, but this is a law that seems to be going nowhere in a hurry.