(Population of 5,540,545 million as of 2016)
With the legalization of marijuana, Colorado seems like a progressive state that would be open to the idea of internet poker. And that seems to be the case, as Colorado is one of ten states considering iGaming.
“On the federal front, we are monitoring developments with proposed Internet gaming legislation with the hopes that our existing brick-and-mortar casinos may at some point offer their products electronically,” Lois A. Rice, CAE Executive Director Colorado Gaming Association, wrote in Casino Enterprise Management. “Passage of Internet gaming legislation not only protects the consumer from a currently unregulated industry, but it also provides additional tax revenue to Colorado, money that now goes overseas to foreign gambling interests. Since New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada have begun offering Internet wagering, we believe it is just a matter of time before other states follow suit, and the federal government will have to put an infrastructure in place to maximize tax revenues.”
In fact, Colorado lawmakers drafted iPoker legislation last year, though those efforts ultimately stalled. Even so, it shows that legislators and industry officials are taking the matter seriously.
"This is something we are monitoring very closely," Troy Stremming, executive vice president of government relations for Pinnacle Entertainment, owner of Colorado's largest casino, Ameristar Black Hawk, told the Denver Post. "Internet gaming continues to evolve state-by-state, and through ever-changing technology. With respect to Colorado, when there is a piece of legislation to review, we can make decisions based on whether or not participation will be beneficial to the company."
The Denver Post also reported that Adam Krejcik of Eilers Research has estimated that “online poker in Colorado could generate $30.4 million to $37.8 million in annual revenue about three to five years after legislation has been enacted. Krejcik's forecast for Colorado's online casino revenue, which covers poker as well as slots, blackjack and other games, is $112.5 million annually.”
There’s reason for Coloradans to be excited for iGaming, but it’s going to take some time (don’t expect much movement this year). As it stands right now, iGaming remains illegal in Colorado. According to the Colorado Department of Revenue Division of Gaming:
“The Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission prohibits persons and businesses licensed in the casino industry in Colorado from having any involvement with internet gaming sites that can be accessed by Colorado residents.”
It's also worth noting that Sheldon Adelson and his National Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling have turned their attention to Colorado. On Jan. 9, 2014, former Denver mayor Wellington Webb, who is a co-chair of the coalition, penned an op-ed for the Denver Post titled "Internet Gambling Will Kill Jobs in Colorado." Webb uses the usual fear-mongering tactics to argue that 27,000 jobs at land-based casinos could be jeopardized if iGaming is legalized.
In June 2016, a bill to legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports in Colorado passed through the legislature and was signed by the governor.
Poker legislation, however, has remained fairly stagnant as of early 2018. The acquisition of the aforementioned Pinnacle Entertainment by Penn National, which has online gambling interests in Pennsylvania's forthcoming regulated market, could be a potential help down the road. However, there appears to be little to no momentum at this time.