Introduction to Colorado Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2019
Colorado slot machine casino gambling consists of 31 casinos, including two tribal casinos. Most casinos are in the three historic mountain towns of Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek.
No payout limits exist, but monthly return statistics are available for each mountain town for all its commercial casinos.
This post continues my weekly State-By-State Slot Machine Casino Gambling Series, an online resource dedicated to guiding slot machine casino gambler to success. Now in its third year, each weekly post reviews slots gambling in a single U.S. state, territory, or federal district.
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Relevant Legal Statutes on Gambling in Colorado*
The minimum legal gambling age in Colorado depends upon the gambling activity:
- Land-Based Casinos: 21
- Poker Rooms: 21
- Bingo: 18
- Lottery: 18
- Pari-Mutuel Wagering: 18
Legalized gambling arrived in 1991 for Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek. In 2008, Colorado voters approved raising the maximum bet in these towns from $5 to $100.
*The purpose of this section is to inform the public of state gambling laws and how the laws might apply to various forms of gaming. It is not legal advice.
Slot Machine Private Ownership in Colorado
It is legal in the state of Colorado to privately own a slot machine manufactured before 1984.
Gaming Control Board in Colorado
The Colorado Division of Gaming regulates gambling in the three historic mountain towns. This gaming control board is within Colorado’s Department of Revenue’s Enforcement Division.
Regulation of gaming at the two tribal casinos is through their negotiated tribal-state compacts allowing Class III Vegas-style electronic gaming machines and table games.
These gaming compacts created Colorado’s two tribal gaming control commissions, which operate with support from the state gaming control board:
Casinos in Colorado
There are 29 non-tribal commercial casinos, two American Indian tribal casinos, and ten Off-Track-Betting (OTB) pari-mutuel sites without slot machines in Colorado.
The largest casino in Colorado is Ameristar Black Hawk, with over 1,250 gaming machines and 40 table games.
The second-largest casino is Isle Casino Hotel Black Hawk, with over 1,000 gaming machines and over 28 table games.
Commercial Casinos in Colorado
There are 29 commercial casinos within the historic mountain towns of Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek including:
Black Hawk, located 50 miles west of Denver, with 6,995 gaming machines:
- Ameristar Black Hawk
- Bill Durham Casino
- The Gilpin Hotel Casino
- Golden Gates Casino
- Golden Gulch Casino
- Isle Casino Hotel Black Hawk
- Lady Luck Casino Black Hawk
- The Lodge Casino
- Marti Gras Casino
- Monarch Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk
- Red Dolly Casino
- Saratoga Casino Hotel
- Sasquatch Casino
- The Wild Card Saloon
- Z Casino Black Hawk
Central City, located 4 miles west of Black Hawk, with 1,984 gaming machines:
- Century Casino Central City
- Dostal Ally Casino & Brew Pub
- The Famous Bonanza Casino
- Grand Z Casino Hotel Central City
- Johnny Z’s Casino Central City
Cripple Creek, located 112 miles south of Denver, with 3,554 gaming machines:
- The Brass Ass Casino
- Bronco Billy’s Casino
- Century Casino & Hotel Cripple Creek
- Colorado Grande Casino
- Double Eagle Hotel & Casino
- Johnny Nolon’s Casino
- McGills Hotel & Casino
- Midnight Rose Hotel & Casino
- Wildwood Casino Cripple Creek
Central City is relatively more historic than the other two mountain towns. Black Hawk is much more of a typical casino town, nearly reminiscent of Las Vegas. Cripple Creek feels like a bit of both.
Black Hawk and Central City are only 4 miles apart. Consequently, there is a heated competition between these two towns for revenue since gambling legalized in 1991.
Before, travelers from Denver had to pass through Black Hawk before reaching Central City. As a result, the town of Black Hawk has had much more gambling revenue. In 2009, the Denver Post reported Black Hawk had three times the casinos and seven times the revenue when compared to Central City.
However, Central City has been proliferating of late thanks to a new and convenient exit off the I-70 interstate highway at Idaho Springs, 8 miles away. In this significant switch from taking the scenic State Routes 6 and 119 from Denver, travelers to Black Hawk now pass through Central City first.
Colorado also has pari-mutuel wagering facilities, including off-track betting (OTB) at former greyhound racetracks, but none of them offer slot machines.
Tribal Casinos in Colorado
Colorado has two tribal casinos:
- Sky Ute Casino Resort in Ignacio, located 330 miles southwest of Denver near the Arizona border, operated by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe.
- Ute Mountain Casino Hotel in Towaoc, located 400 miles southwest of Denver near the southwest corner of Colorado and 112 miles west of Ignacio, operated by the Ute Mountain Tribe.
Other Gambling Establishments
As an alternative to enjoying Colorado slot machine casino gambling, consider exploring casino options in a nearby state. Bordering Colorado is:
- North: Wyoming Slots
- Northwest: Nebraska Slots
- East: Kansas Slots
- South: New Mexico Slots
- Southeast: Oklahoma Slots
- West: Utah Slots
- Southwest: Arizona Slots at Four Corners
Each of the links above will take you to my state-specific blog for that neighboring state to Colorado.
Our Colorado Slots Facebook Group
Are you interested in sharing and learning with other slots enthusiasts in Colorado? If so, join our new Colorado slots community on Facebook. All you’ll need is a Facebook profile to join this closed Facebook Group freely.
There, you’ll be able to privately share your slots experiences as well as chat with players about slots gambling in or near Colorado. Join us!
Payout Returns in Colorado
No theoretical payout limits exist for Colorado’s commercial or tribal casinos.
The Division of Gaming publishes Gaming Industry Statistics for Colorado’s three historic mountain towns. These casino hold percent gaming statistics are state-wide and by town, but not by an individual casino. Player return percent is 100% minus casino hold percent.
As of this writing, the most recent report is from August 2019. This month’s slot machine player return percentages were:
- State-wide: 92.41%
- Black Hawk: 92.16%
- Central City: 92.22%
- Cripple Creek: 93.35% (highest town return)
These monthly reports also provide the casino hold percent by slot machine denomination. When converted to player return percent, for August 2019 they are:
In August 2019, Black Hawk’s dime denomination slot machines had the highest return of 95.36%, followed by their high limit machines.
Colorado’s two tribal casinos do not have publicly available return statistics.
Summary of Colorado Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2019
Colorado slot machine casino gambling consists of 29 commercial, non-tribal casinos in the historic mountain towns of Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek. Two tribal casinos are located near the Arizona border and in the southwest corner of Colorado.
No payout limits are available for Colorado’s casinos. However, monthly return statistics by town and slot machine denomination are available for its commercial casinos.
Annual Progress in Colorado Slot Machine Casino Gambling
Over the last year, six casinos have closed in the three historic mountain towns. Four of these casinos were in Cripple Creek. Five casinos closed two years ago.
In Black Hawk, casinos have undergone name changes if not operators:
- Ameristar Casino Resort is now Ameristar Black Hawk.
- Isle of Capri Hotel Casino is now Isle Casino Hotel Black Hawk.
- Golden Mardi Gras Casino is now Mardi Gras Casino.
Related Articles from Professor Slots
Other State-By-State Articles from Professor Slots
- Online Resource: State-By-State Slot Machine Casino Gambling Series
- Previous: California Slot Machine Casino Gambling
- Next: Connecticut Slot Machine Casino Gambling