Gambling Law US
Colorado Gambling Laws
Colorado Revised Statutes
Gambling Related Websites
Current to Jan. 1, 2010
Colorado has legal low-stakes gaming in certain smaller, historical cities. Gaming operations in those cities are licensed and regulated by the Colorado Gaming Commission.
Colorado also permits recognized charities to hold bingos and raffles under the restrictive conditions set forth in its Bingos and Raffles Law, C.R.S. 12-9-101. Participating charities are required to secure a license from the Colorado Secretary of State's licensing center.
The following statutes cover gambling that is not licensed and regulated.
A person is legally accountable as principal for the behavior of another constituting a criminal offense if, with the intent to promote or facilitate the commission of the offense, he or she aids, abets, advises, or encourages the other person in planning or committing the offense.
18-10-101. Legislative declaration - construction.
(1) It is declared to be the policy of the general assembly, recognizing the close relationship between professional gambling and other organized crime, to restrain all persons from seeking profit from gambling activities in this state; to restrain all persons from patronizing such activities when conducted for the profit of any person; to safeguard the public against the evils induced by common gamblers and common gambling houses; and at the same time to preserve the freedom of the press and to avoid restricting participation by individuals in sport and social pastimes which are not for profit, do not affect the public, and do not breach the peace.
(2) All the provisions of this article shall be liberally construed to achieve these ends and administered and enforced with a view to carrying out the declaration of policy stated in subsection (1) of this section.
As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) "Gain" means the direct realization of winnings; "profit" means any other realized or unrealized benefit, direct or indirect, including without limitation benefits from proprietorship, management, or unequal advantage in a series of transactions.
(2) "Gambling" means risking any money, credit, deposit, or other thing of value for gain contingent in whole or in part upon lot, chance, the operation of a gambling device, or the happening or outcome of an event, including a sporting event, over which the person taking a risk has no control, but does not include:
(3) "Gambling device" means any device, machine, paraphernalia, or equipment that is used or usable in the playing phases of any professional gambling activity, whether that activity consists of gambling between persons or gambling by a person involving the playing of a machine; except that the term does not include a crane game, as defined in section 12-47.1-103 (5.5), C.R.S.
(4) "Gambling information" means a communication with respect to any wager made in the course of, and any information intended to be used for, professional gambling. In the application of this definition the following shall be presumed to be intended for use in professional gambling: Information as to wagers, betting odds, or changes in betting odds. Legitimate news reporting of an event for public dissemination is not gambling information within the meaning of this article.
(5) "Gambling premises" means any building, room, enclosure, vehicle, vessel, or other place, whether open or enclosed, used or intended to be used for professional gambling. In the application of this definition, any place where a gambling device is found is presumed to be intended to be used for professional gambling.
(6) "Gambling proceeds" means all money or other things of value at stake or displayed in or in connection with professional gambling.
(7) "Gambling record" means any record, receipt, ticket, certificate, token, slip, or notation given, made, used, or intended to be used in connection with professional gambling.
(8) "Professional gambling" means:
(9) "Repeating gambling offender" means any person who is convicted of an offense under section 18-10-103 (2) or sections 18-10-105 to 18-10-107 or sections 12-47.1-809 to 12-47.1-811 or 12-47.1-818 to 12-47.1-832 or 12-47.1-839, C.R.S., or sections 18-20-103 to 18-20-114 within five years after a previous misdemeanor conviction under these sections or a former statute prohibiting gambling activities, or at any time after a previous felony conviction under any of the mentioned sections. A conviction in any jurisdiction of the United States of an offense which, if committed in this state, would be professional gambling shall warrant a prosecution in this state as a repeating gambling offender.
(10) "Vintage slot machine" means any model slot machine, as defined in section 12-47.1-103 (26), C.R.S., that was introduced on the market prior to January 1, 1984.
18-10-103. Gambling - professional gambling - offenses.
(1) A person who engages in gambling commits a class 1 petty offense.
(2) A person who engages in professional gambling commits a class 1 misdemeanor. If he is a repeating gambling offender, it is a class 5 felony.
18-10-104. Gambling devices - gambling records - gambling proceeds.
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, all gambling devices, gambling records, and gambling proceeds are subject to seizure by any peace officer and may be confiscated and destroyed by order of a court acquiring jurisdiction. Gambling proceeds shall be forfeited to the state and shall be transmitted by court order to the general fund of the state.
(2) If a gambling device is a vintage slot machine and is not operated for gambling purposes for profit or for business purposes, it shall not be confiscated or destroyed pursuant to subsection (1) of this section. If a gambling device is confiscated and the owner shows that such gambling device is a vintage slot machine and is not used for gambling purposes, the court acquiring jurisdiction shall order such vintage slot machine returned to the person from whom it was confiscated.
18-10-105. Possession of a gambling device or record.
(1) Except as provided in subsection (1.5) of this section, a person who owns, manufactures, sells, transports, possesses, or engages in any transaction designed to affect the ownership, custody, or use of a gambling device or gambling record, knowing that it is to be used in professional gambling, commits possession of a gambling device or record.
(1.5) The sale, transportation, manufacture, and remanufacture of gambling devices, including the acquisition of essential parts therefor and the assembly of such parts, is permitted if such devices are sold, transported, manufactured, and remanufactured only for transportation in interstate or foreign commerce when such transportation is not prohibited by any applicable foreign, state, or federal law. Storage of gambling devices is also permitted but only for purposes of manufacturing, remanufacturing, and transporting such devices in interstate or foreign commerce when their transportation is not prohibited. Such activities may be conducted only by persons who have registered with the United States government pursuant to the provisions of chapter 24 of Title XV of the United States Code, as amended. Such gambling devices shall not be openly displayed, except to legal buyers, or sold for use in Colorado regardless of where purchased, nor manufactured, remanufactured, or stored for purposes of manufacture, remanufacture, and transportation in violation of any applicable state or federal law. For purposes of this subsection (1.5), "legal buyer" means a buyer who resides in another state or country which does not restrict the possession of the specific gambling device in question.
(2) Possession of a gambling device or record or violation of subsection (1.5) of this section is a class 2 misdemeanor. If the offender is a repeating gambling offender, it is a class 6 felony.
18-10-106. Gambling information.
(1) Whoever knowingly transmits or receives gambling information by telephone, telegraph, radio, semaphore, or other means or knowingly installs or maintains equipment for the transmission or receipt of gambling information commits a class 3 misdemeanor. If the offender is a repeating gambling offender, it is a class 6 felony.
(2) Facilities and equipment furnished by a public utility in the regular course of business, and which remain the property of the utility while so furnished, shall not be seized except in connection with an alleged violation of this article by the public utility and shall be forfeited only upon conviction of the public utility therefor.
The Colorado law firm Davis & Gilbert has posted the following conclusion about the State's legislation regulating sweepstakes: "The detailed requirements of Colorado's newest sweepstakes statute show that the Colorado Legislature strongly disapproves of unfair and deceptive tactics by sweepstakes sponsors. Due to the meticulous directives, it is likely that many sponsors will opt to exclude Colorado from direct mail solicitations for the simple reason that preparing a special mailing to comply with Colorado law may be too costly and time-consuming. Sponsors that decide to include Colorado in their sweepstakes are well-advised to be very familiar with the terms of this statute."
Here are the requirements of the statute:
6-1-801. Legislative finding, declaration, and intent.
(1) The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that a vast number of sweepstakes and contests have been and are being directed to Colorado consumers; that Colorado consumers may have paid millions of dollars to purchase goods or services to enter sweepstakes and contests based on representations created by the sponsors of those sweepstakes and contests; that these sweepstakes and contests may be targeted to certain vulnerable Colorado consumers; that there is a compelling need to curtail and prevent the most deceptive practices in connection with the promotion of sweepstakes and contests; that there is a compelling need for more complete disclosure of rules and operation of sweepstakes and contests in which money or other valuable consideration may be solicited; that preventing the deceptive promotions of sweepstakes and contests is a matter vitally affecting the public interest; and, therefore, that statutory regulation of sweepstakes and contests is necessary to the general welfare of the public.
(2) It is the intent of the general assembly to require that Colorado consumers be provided with all relevant information necessary to make an informed decision concerning sweepstakes and contests. It is also the intent of the general assembly to prohibit misleading and deceptive prize promotions. The terms of this part 8 shall be construed liberally in order to achieve this purpose.
As used in this part 8, unless the context otherwise requires:
(2) "No purchase necessary message " means the following statement, set apart and in bold-faced type, and at least ten-point type: "No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win this [sweepstakes or contest]."
(3) "Official rules " means the formal printed statement of the rules for the sweepstakes or contest, which statement shall be printed in contrasting type face at least ten-point type.
(4) "Prize " means cash or an item or service of monetary value that is offered or awarded to a person in a real or purported sweepstakes or contest.
(5) "Prize notice " means a written notice, other than an advertisement appearing in a magazine or newspaper of general circulation, delivered by the United States postal service or by a private carrier, that is or contains a representation that the recipient will receive, or may be or may become eligible to receive, a prize.
(6) "Represent " and "representation " includes express statements and the implications and inferences that would be drawn from those statements, taking into account the context in which the representation is made, including, but not limited to, emphasis, font, size, color, location, and presentation of the representation and any qualifying language. If the representation is made on or visible through a mailing envelope, the context in which the representation is to be considered, including any qualifying language, shall be limited to that which is visible without opening the mailing envelope.
(7) "Retail value " of a prize means:
(8) "Specially selected " means a representation that a person is a winner, a finalist, in first place or tied for first place, or otherwise among a limited group of persons with an enhanced likelihood of receiving a prize.
(9) "Sponsor" means a person who offers, by means of a prize notice, a prize to another person in this state in conjunction with any real or purported sweepstakes or contest that requires or allows, or creates the impression of requiring or allowing, the person to purchase any goods or services or pay any money as a condition of receiving, or in conjunction with allowing the person to receive, use, compete for, or obtain a prize or information about a prize.
(10) "Sweepstakes " means any competition, giveaway, drawing, plan, or other selection process or other enterprise or promotion in which anything of value is awarded to participants by chance or random selection that is not otherwise unlawful under other provisions of law; except that "sweepstakes " shall not be construed to include any activity of licensees regulated under article 9 or article 47.1 of title 12, C.R.S., or part 2 of article 35 of title 24, C.R.S 6-1-803. Prohibited practices and required disclosures.
6-1-803. Prohibited practices and required disclosures.
(1) No sponsor shall require a person to pay the sponsor money or any other consideration as a condition of awarding the person a prize, or as a condition of allowing the person to receive, use, compete for, or obtain a prize or information about a prize.
(2) No sponsor shall represent that a person has won or unconditionally will be the winner of a prize or use language that may lead a person to believe he or she has won a prize, unless all of the following conditions are met:
(3) If a sponsor offers one or more items of the same or substantially the same value to all or substantially all of the recipients of a prize notice, the sponsor shall not:
(4) No sponsor shall represent that a person has been specially selected in connection with a sweepstakes or contest unless it is true.
(5) No sponsor shall represent that a person may be or may become a winner of a prize, characterize the person as a possible winner of a prize, or represent that the person will, upon the satisfaction of some condition or the occurrence of some event or other contingency, become the winner of a prize, unless each of the following is clearly and conspicuously disclosed:
(6) Unless otherwise provided by subsection (5) of this section, the information required by subsection (5) of this section shall be presented in the following form:
(7) No sponsor shall subject sweepstakes or contest entries not accompanied by an order for products or services to any disability or disadvantage in the winner selection process to which an entry accompanied by an order for products or services would not be subject.
(8) No sponsor shall represent that an entry in a sweepstakes or contest accompanied by an order for products or services will be eligible to receive additional prizes or be more likely to win than an entry not accompanied by an order for products or services, or that an entry not accompanied by an order for products or services will have a reduced chance of winning a prize in the sweepstakes or contest.
(9) No sponsor shall represent that a person will have an increased chance of receiving a prize by making multiple or duplicate purchases, payments, or donations, or by entering a sweepstakes or contest more than one time.
(10) No sponsor shall represent that a person is being notified a second or final time of the opportunity to receive or compete for a prize, unless the representation is true.
(11) No sponsor shall represent that a prize notice is urgent or otherwise convey an impression of urgency by use of description, narrative copy, phrasing on a mailing envelope, or similar method, unless there is a limited time period in which the recipient must take some action to claim or be eligible to receive a prize, and the date by which such action is required appears immediately adjacent to each representation of urgency in the same type size and boldness as each representation of urgency.
(12) No sponsor shall deliver, or cause to be delivered, a prize notice which is in the form of, or a prize notice which includes, a document which simulates a bond, check, or other negotiable instrument, unless that document contains a statement that such document is nonnegotiable and has no cash value.
(13) No sponsor shall deliver, or cause to be delivered, a prize notice which:
(14) No sponsor shall represent that a prize notice is being delivered by any method other than bulk mail unless that is the case or otherwise misrepresent the manner in which the prize notice is delivered.
(15) In the operation of a sweepstakes or contest, no sponsor shall:
(16) The prohibited practices listed in this section are in addition to and do not limit the types of unfair trade practices actionable at common law or under other civil and criminal statutes of this state.
(17) No sponsor, requiring a person to respond in any manner to claim a prize, shall require the person to purchase insurance; except that the sponsor is in no way responsible for applicable state and federal taxes on the prize; and except that a sponsor may require proof of health insurance in order to claim a prize for travel or recreational activities. Such health insurance may not be acquired from the sponsor.
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