The Colorado experience — benefits of sports betting


Collegian | Dylan Tusinski

Dylan Heinrich, Staff Reporter

As all eyes shift to the ballots, sports betting will continue to be one of the most talked about issues nationwide.

Since the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, both online and in-person sports betting has now become legal in more than 30 states. In 2022, Kansas, Maine and Massachusetts have already passed legislation to legalize the practice. 


However, 10 states have also voted on and shot down legislation related to the gambling practice. 

As a result, the odds of passing Propositions 26 and 27 in California related to sports betting are far from certain. These legislations have been quite influential in Colorado over the past three years. The practice was legalized as of November 2019, as Colorado became the 19th state to legalize sports betting.

“It really adds another element to watching sports.” – Cory Clarke, CSU student

The state has benefited greatly from the legislation, gaining $6.6 million in tax revenue during the first year. Since then Colorado has collected much more due to a 10% tax placed on casinos’ sports betting profits. The majority of that money has gone toward the Colorado Water Plan. Since the legalization of sports betting, $23.8 million have been set aside solely for water projects across the state.

Not only is it beneficial for the state, but it’s also beneficial for the participants as well. For Colorado State University student Cory Clarke, sports betting has done nothing but enhance his experience with sporting events, specifically martial arts.

“It really adds another element to watching sports,” Clarke said. “I watched UFC, but I didn’t really care too much about it. But I had this group of friends who were older than me, and they would always bet. Then when I became 21, I just started betting with them.”

With the majority of participants considered young adults, most wagers placed on events are small. Over half of all bets placed are kept under the $25 threshold. As a result, Clarke and many others don’t play in an attempt to win big, instead just to go out and have a good time with some friends.

“Everyone’s just packed in at the bars, glued to the TVs,” Clark said. “The whole experience and atmosphere is insane. Between the rounds, there’s so much talking, but when the actual fight’s going on, it’s quiet. But then a roar of people whenever someone gets knocked out.” 

As long as the scene is kept under surveillance and there are resources to help those with gambling addictions, the continued legalization of sports betting will be beneficial to all parties involved.

Reach Dylan Heinrich at or on Twitter @dylanrhrinrich