The State of Colorado makes no bones about their stance on gambling and, perhaps conveniently, makes their position quite clear on the Department of Revenue site:
The site does state that, ‘Internet gambling is illegal under state and federal laws,’ which is only partially true. Internet sports betting is illegal under federal laws, but to this day, there is no federal law that prohibits wagering in other games of chance, so the State of Colorado’s blanket statement in this regard, while patently misleading, certainly is indicative of their position on online gambling.
The site goes on to misstate what the UIGEA actually does by stating that, ‘Online gamblers,’ are prohibited from using, ‘Credit cards…,’ in order to participate in online gambling. f course, we know from what has been pointed out in the beginning of these pages that this statement is not true of the UIGEA at all. What is prohibited is companies engaging in financial transactions for the purpose of unlawful gambling, but the UIGEA specifically points out that what constitutes, ‘Unlawful gambling,’ is itself left to the states. urthermore, the UIGEA does not make it illegal for a mere participant to online gambling to facilitate a transaction with the goal of playing online.
In other words, with exception to the word, ‘State,’ everything in the first paragraph under, ‘Internet gambling,’ on the State of Colorado Department of Revenue site is, quite frankly, complete bullshit.
The State of Colorado Department of Revenue does correctly point out that players have no recourse if they engage in gambling (and lose) on websites (or by any other means) not specifically authorized and regulated by the State of Colorado. However, unlike other states, Colorado does not seem to realize that they could theoretically provide a remedy to players (such as a state like Alabama theoretically does) who lose money to an unauthorized form of gambling. Again, in other states, a person could theoretically sue an online gambling provider, but it is unlikely that they would successfully recover the actual monies lost.
Interestingly, all of the Colorado gambling laws as pertain to unlawful gambling:
Seem to pertain to actual operators or professional gamblers and not to mere participants, despite the Department of Revenue’s seeming statements to the contrary. Operators and professional gamblers, however, can face severe penalties for keeping a gambling house, illegal gambling equipment, or records pertaining to illegal gambling ranging from Class 3 Misdemeanors all the way to Class 6 Felonies.
Despite the Department of Revenue’s position, there doesn’t seem to be any provision in the laws that would make wagering online illegal for non-professional players.
In fact, just two years ago a man was indicted for carrying out an illegal online gambling website in or around Boulder County:
However, as with most such activity, this largely focused around an illegal bookmaking enterprise.
The way that, ‘Professional Gambling,’ is defined by the law is also problematic because it can apply to mere participants who, ‘...other than by virtue of skill or luck, a lesser chance of losing or a greater chance of winning than one or more of the other participants.” The reason this could be problematic is that an online casino might extend offers and promotions to certain players and not others which may give the recipient of such offers, ‘A lesser chance of losing or greater chance of winning.’
However, as a practical matter, I can find no evidence whatsoever of any individual acting as a mere player being prosecuted for gambling online in the State of Colorado, professionally or otherwise, and even under the definitions imposed by Colorado law, it would be a bit of a stretch to construe any mere participant as a, ‘Professional.’
In conclusion, I cannot find any aspect of the law that should apply to mere participants, despite the apparent (and inaccurate) opinion of the Colorado Department of Revenue. However, acting as an operator can carry with it some pretty meaningful penalties, and despite the fact that the opinion of the Department of Revenue is legally inaccurate (especially as pertains the UIGEA) the goal is clearly to give the impression that internet gambling is illegal.
Due to the strong stance taken against Online Gambling by a state agency, even though their position is nonsensical, and the steep penalties that can be faced by operators and apparent enforcement thereof, I’m going to construe Colorado as, ‘Heavily Restrictive.'
FINAL RANKING: Heavily Restrictive-16
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