DENVER – Colorado’s constitutional restrictions on gambling don’t apply to sports betting – but its criminal code does, and lawmakers would have to change that if voters want it legalized.
That’s the formal opinion of Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, who said Thursday legislation is required to authorize commercial sports betting in Colorado.
Coffman’s opinion comes at the request of the Department of Revenue.
New Jersey won a U.S. Supreme Court case in May clearing the way for all 50 states to offer sports betting should they choose to do so.
A federal law previously limited sports betting to Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon.
Gambling is strictly controlled in Colorado. In 1990, voters approved limited gaming – blackjack, poker and slot machines – in just three communities, with certain limited exceptions. Gambling also is offered by the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Indian tribes.