Colorado has a rich gambling history, beginning with the original gamblers chasing the Gold Rush into the Rocky Mountains. If you’re in search of casino gambling near Denver, don’t miss Black Hawk, Central City or Cripple Creek.  Colorado’s law to allow gambling, passed in 1991, was an attempt to keep these former mining towns from becoming ghost towns. The original law allowed for $5 bets, but was increased to $100 maximum single bet or raise in 2008. The 2008 law also allowed for casinos to offer craps and roulette, and to stay open 24 hours a day.

Black Hawk is the Las Vegas of Colorado, complete with roomy casinos, bright-as-day neon and flashy entertainment. Just 45 minutes from Denver, Black Hawk is the largest gambling city in Colorado.  18 casinos operate here, some 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Machine gaming such as classic slots, video slots and video poker pairs with casino games including blackjack, roulette, craps, and poker. Many of the casinos are also hotels, offering rooms to entice you to stay overnight or even longer. The largest casino in Black Hawk is The Isle of Capri. The Isle of Capri boasts a 402-room hotel with three restaurants (Calypso’s Buffet, Tradewinds Marketplace and Farraddays‘) more than 1,100 slot machines and 24 table games. Other casinos include Ameristar, Black Hawk Station, Bull Durham, Bullwhackers, Canyon, The Gilpin Hotel, Golden Gates, Golden Gulch, Golden Mardi Gras, Lady Luck, The Lodge, Red Dolly, The Riviera, Saratoga, Sasquatch, and Wild Card. The Lodge was host to  World Series of Poker’s No-Limit Hold’em official ring event in March of 2013, the first Colorado destination for the WSOP tour.

Central City is only a few miles from Black Hawk. In fact, a shuttle bus connects the two cities.   Known as the “Richest Square Mile on Earth,” Central City was originally a mining town called Gregory’s Diggins. Central City is now home to 8 casinos, housing 4,034 gaming machines and 45 total game tables,  and a few hotels. Not as flashy or large as Black Hawk, Central City maintains more of the historic charm of a mining town. The casinos in Central City are Century Casino and Hotel, Crystal Palace Casino, Doc Holliday Casino, Dostal Alley Brewpub and Casino, Easy Street, Famous Bonanza Casino,  Johnny Z’s Casino, The Reserve Casino Hotel, Scarlet’s Casino and Teller House Casino.

Also a former mining town, Cripple Creek has kept the look and feel of its gold mining origins. An Old West town at heart, Cripple Creek provides casinos, slots, poker, blackjack and saloons with a small-town friendliness not found in larger gambling venues. In the mountains south of Colorado Springs, Cripple Creek also has family-friendly activities such as soapbox racing, old west gunfights and more. Cripple Creek is home to 15 casinos housing 5,129 gaming machines and 54 total table games. Casinos in Cripple Creek include Brass Ass Casino, Bronco Billy’s Casino, Creeker’s Gaming Hall, Double Eagle Casino and Hotel, Gold Rush Hotel and Casino, Imperial Hotel and Casino, Johnny Nolon’s Casino, JP McGill’s Hotel and Casino, Midnight Rose Hotel and Casino, Uncle Sam’s Casino, Virgin Mule Casino,  Wild Horse Casino, and Womack’s Casino and Hotel.