In Colorado, horse race betting was the first form of gambling to be legalized and has been around since 1948. Today, there is one live horse-racing track, the Arapahoe Park Racetrack, which runs events from May through to August. There are also eleven off-track betting locations in the state offering year-round horse race and greyhound race betting.
Alongside betting at these locations, online horse race betting is also legal in Colorado. With the recent legalization of internet sports betting, there are even more options for placing horse racing bets online than ever before. The only requirement for placing wagers on horses is that you are over the age of 18 years old, the legal age for gambling in Colorado. People under the age of 18 are still welcome to spectate live events but cannot place bets.
Here is everything you need to know about betting on horse racing in Colorado, both live, at off-track locations, and online.
Racetrack and Off-Track Betting Locations
There is one racetrack, the Arapahoe Park Racetrack, and eleven off-track betting facilities across the state. The below image shows their locations:
Arapahoe Park Racetrack
Arapahoe Park Racetrack is the only live horse race betting location in Colorado where you can spectate and bet in person. It is located in Aurora at the following address:
26000 East Quincy Avenue, Aurora, CO 80016
The track is operated by Mile High Racing who is in turn owned by Twin River Worldwide Holdings Inc. The races run from mid-May to mid-August annually, however, due to COVID-19 their schedule for this year has changed slightly and spectators are not currently permitted to watch the races. They cover a range of horse races inclusive of thoroughbred, quarterhorse, and Appaloosa racing. Some major events held at the racetrack annually are:
- Rocky Mountain Futurity (Quarterhorse)
- Colorado Derby (Thoroughbred)
- Mile High Futurity (Quarterhorse)
- Arapahoe Park Sprint (Thoroughbred)
Outside of the live racing season, you can still place bets at Arapahoe Park. They hold simulcast races five days per week. This is where live races from around the world are broadcasted on their television and bets are taken as usual. For more information, read our Arapahoe Park Racetrack review.
Off-Track Betting Locations
For horse race betting all year round, or for those of you who do not live near Aurora, head to one of Colorado’s eleven off-track betting (OTB) facilities. These offer simulcast race betting. Additionally, although there are no live greyhound racetracks in the state, OTB sites allow for both simulcast greyhound and horse race betting.
The off-track locations and hours of operation are as follows:
|Off-Track Betting Facility||Location||Hours of Operation|
|Havana Park||10750 E. Iliff Avenue, Aurora, CO 80014||Sunday: 10am – 6pm |
Monday to Thursday: 10am – 10pm
Friday & Saturday: 10am – 11pm
|Celtic on Market||1400 Market Street, Denver, CO 80202||Sunday to Thursday: 11am – 10pm |
Friday & Saturday: 10.30am – 10pm
|Odds on OTB||5390 Sheridan Boulevard, Arvada, CO 80002||Sunday: 10am – 10.45pm |
Monday – Thursday: 10am – 9.30pm
Friday & Saturday: 10am – 11pm
|Pick 6 Lounge at The Mirage||8340 W. Coal Mine Avenue, Littleton, CO 80123||Daily from 10am|
|Pick 6 Lounge at The Fox & Hound||9239 Park Meadows Drive, Lone Tree, CO 80124||Daily from 10am|
|The 8 Track at Bank 8 Billiards||2460 Patterson, Grand Junction, CO 81505||Sunday 10am – 10pm |
Monday to Thursday: 10am – 12am
Friday & Saturday: 10am – 2am
|Off to the Races (Formally SCGEC)||3215 Lake Avenue, Pueblo, CO 81004||Sunday & Monday: 10am – 6pm |
Wednesday to Saturday: 10am – 10pm
|Big D’s OTB||618 25th Street, Greeley, CO 80631||Sunday: 9am – 7pm |
Monday & Tuesday: 10am – 7pm
Wednesday to Saturday: 10am – 9pm
|Elevated Stakes at Union Station||2419 North Union Boulevard, Colorado Springs, CO 80909||Sunday: 10am – 7.30pm |
Monday & Tuesday: 11am – 7.30pm
Wednesday to Friday: 11am – 10pm
Saturday: 10am – 10pm
|Post Time OTB||3958 North Academy Boulevard, Colorado Springs, CO 80917||Sunday & Monday: 10am – 6pm |
Wednesday to Friday: 11am – 9pm
Saturday: 10am – 9pm
|OTB at Sundance Steakhouse & Saloon||2716 East Mulberry Road, Fort Collins, CO 80524||Monday: 10am – 6pm |
Wednesday to Saturday: 10am – 9pm
The majority of the OTB facilities are located inside pubs, nightclubs, bars, and restaurants. This means often you can grab a drink, sit back and enjoy your meal, or even listen to live music performances as you wager on the racing. OTB facilities also have the advantage of offering year-round betting.
With the global pandemic affecting the opening of many hospitality venues, there are limited OTB locations open at present. Currently, Havana Park, Celtic on the Market, and Elevated Stakes are all open for off-track betting where simulcast broadcasts of the racing at Arapahoe Park Racetrack will be shown while the racetrack remains closed to spectators. Of these, Havana Park is a full-service OTB facility with a capacity of 200 and admission costs $3.
Online Horse Race Betting
If you do not wish to drive to a live racing venue or OTB location, online horse race betting is legal in Colorado. There are several online racebook mobile apps, and the recent legalization of sports gambling in Colorado means gradually more sportsbooks mobile apps are being launched in the state. Many of these too offer horse racing within their sports coverage and provide us with even more options for placing horse racing bets to win real money online.
The top Colorado horse race betting websites and apps are TVG and BetAmerica:
TVG is the main online racebook that is legal in Colorado and is licensed and regulated in the US. It made its debut back in 1993 and so is one of the most experienced online horse race betting sites available today. Being solely devoted to horse racing, it also offers great coverage of US races from over 150 tracks, and full-track odds meaning larger payouts.
- Bonuses & Promotions: TVG offers a risk-free bonus of up to $200 to all new players applicable to your first wager placed on the site. This means if your first wager falls through, TVG will cover your losses. To claim the full bonus amount, your initial bet must be $200. If the bet loses you receive your bonus, whereas if it wins you get to keep your winnings.
- Deposit & Withdrawal Methods: Depositing and withdrawing funds onto your TVG account is simple and there are a variety of different methods available:
- Visa & MasterCard
- Online Bank Transfer
- Wire Transfer
- Check & eCheck
- Interface & Navigation: The TVG site is simple to navigate around. Simply choose your racetrack, then narrow down the race you wish to bet on before making your selection. If you are unsure of where to start, the home page of the site displays popular races, tracks, and pools. If you are used to betting at live or OTB locations, TVG has designed its site to look similar to a regular betting slip.
- Mobile App: There is also a handy mobile app that can be downloaded directly from the TVG site onto your smartphone. The app is compatible with iOS and Android devices. Apple iPhone users also have the option to download the TVG app from the App Store, but it is not currently available for download from Google Play.
- Wagering Options: The majority of wagers on the site have limits from $1 up to $10,000, so there is something to suit all budgets. The site has comprehensive coverage of US races and several international venues, covering 150 tracks. There is also free live streaming of all racing events so you can see the race unfold in real-time as you place bets from anywhere in the state.
BetAmerica is another legal and licensed online gambling provider. They offer internet horse race betting, alongside sports gambling. Their online sportsbook has yet to launch in Colorado, but the company has partnered with Bronco Billy’s Casino in Cripple Creek and so this will be rolled out in the near future. Their racebook is, however, fully licensed and legal.
- Deposit & Withdrawal Methods: When it comes to depositing funds into your BetAmerica Horse Racing account there are several options to choose from:
- Visa & MasterCard
- PayNearMe at 7-Eleven stores
- Interface & Navigation: BetAmerica Horse Racing have recently updated their website with several new features including being able to save your favorite tracks, advanced handicapping, and the ability to download past performances to help you choose your bet.
- Mobile App: There is also the option to download the BetAmerica Racing mobile app to your device. This means you can place wagers on horses from anywhere in the state conveniently from your smartphone.
- Wagering Options: BetAmerica covers over 200 racetracks worldwide. This includes full coverage of racing events in the US, alongside coverage of all major tracks in the UK and Australia, and a handful of other international venues. There is also greyhound race betting available with access to the 18 major US tracks and over 100 races daily. You can also watch live races from your desktop computer or mobile phone.
Other Online Racebooks
There are a variety of other online racebooks, and several of Colorado’s newly launched sportsbooks take horse race bets:
This is a great option if you know you will be wanting to bet on other sports beside solely horse racing.
Horse Betting Options
Both at live racetracks, OTB locations, and online racebooks, there are several different types of wagers you can place. Firstly, you need to decide on whether you wish to bet on a single horse, multiple horses, or across multiple races. There are then several wagers you can place within that.
Single Horse Bets
This is the most straightforward type of horse race betting available. You choose a horse to bet on for a specific race, and can choose from the following options:
- Win: You bet that your horse finishes first
- Place: You bet that your horse finishes first or second
- Show: You bet that your horse finishes first or second or third
Of these, correctly predicting which horse will win any given race is harder to select than a horse to place or to show. Therefore, betting for a specific horse to win will receive a higher payout than betting that the horse will show.
Multiple Horse Bets
You can make a variety of wagers by selecting multiple horses for one race:
- Quinella: You choose two horses and must correctly predict the horses to finish first and second in any order
- Exacta: You choose two horses and must correctly predict the horses to finish first and second place in the correct order
- Trifecta: You choose three horses and must correctly predict the horses to place top three, in the correct order
- Superfecta: You choose four horses and must correctly predict the horses to finish top four, in the correct order
These wagers are hard to predict correctly. However, they have one of the largest payouts. To make your bet more likely to win, you can choose to “box” quinella, exacta, trifecta, and superfecta bets. This means you can cover all possible winning combinations for your chosen horses, so the order they place is irrelevant; choose the top finishing horses and you win. This is more advanced wagering and boxing costs more than placing an individual wager. However, the opportunity to win is increased.
Multiple Race Bets:
When making bets across multiple races, you can either wager on several races across one day or place future bets on major racing events:
- Daily Double: Choose the winning horses of two consecutive races
- Pick 3/4/5/6: Choose the winning horses of 3/4/5/6 consecutive races
- Futures: Place wagers on horses to win future major racing events
Horse Race Betting History Colorado
Back in 1948, horse race betting was the first form of gambling to be legalized in Colorado. The states first racetrack opened on Independence Day in 1950 in Littleton and was called the Centennial Racetrack. At first, the track appeared to be a success, with over half a million dollars being wagered on its opening day. However, after the initial buzz subsided the racetrack was only taking a daily average of $50,000 over the opening year. The racetrack closed in 1983 and today there stands an apartment block and offices.
In 1965, the state’s second racetrack, Pikes Peak Meadows, opened its gates. However, this racetrack had a similar fate to the Centennial Racetrack and closed its doors in 1993. The site today is now home to Pikes Peak International Raceway which opened in 1997. Arapahoe Park Racetrack opened in 1992 and is now the sole racetrack in Colorado. However, horse racing is gradually decreasing in popularity and there is a decline in racing events across the US each year. There are fears Arapahoe Park will too close its doors in the near future.
In other states, racetracks have tackled a decreased interest in horse racing by incorporating other facilities into their sites, such as becoming racinos or holding conferences. However, in Colorado, a proposal to allow racetracks to provide casino games on site was shut down in 2014, and there have been no further attempts since. The future for US horse racing is uncertain.