The Colorado Division of Gaming Launches New Crackdown Against Illegal Casino Operators



Rick Langenberg


The Colorado Division of Gaming has launched their new 2024 “Colorado Illegal Gaming Awareness Campaign and associated crackdown that is bound to receive much support by business owners in Cripple Creek.


This effort promotes awareness and prevention of illegal gambling by urging Colorado residents and visitors to only gamble where it’s legal in Colorado. The theme is “”Play Legit. Gamble Only Where Legal.” The campaign aims to educate the public about the risks associated with illegal gambling and the importance of supporting regulated gaming venues.


The controversy surrounding the explosion of illicit gaming places throughout Colorado has ignited the wrath of casino operators in Cripple Creek. Recently, it has become a major focus of regular legislative updates provided by the city’s head lobbyist, Solomon Malick, who has sought more state action to crack down on the illegal operators that are taking away money that should be going to the casinos in the three gaming towns.


The state, and specifically the Colorado Springs area, has experienced a slew of Internet Cafes and other outlets that operate under different names, but in reality, they offer games of chance that are only permitted in Cripple Creek, Black Hawk and Central City.


“These businesses are circumventing the (gambling) state statute,” said Malick in a previous presentation before the Cripple Creek City Council. “You can’t have legal games of chance outside of the three gaming cities.” He describes them as “Internet Cafes, under disguise.  They are setting up  illegal operations.”


Late last year, the police department in Colorado Springs identified several dozens of these illegal operators during a special operation.



As a result, this new effort will be heavily promoted locally. Besides cracking down on Internet Cafes that are operating as mini-casinos, the campaign stresses even more dangerous purposes of these illicit businesses.


The campaign emphasizes legal gambling options, including casinos in Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek, as well as online sports betting and off-track betting.


“With many certified and legal gambling sites available, it’s never worth it to put yourself in danger,” says Chris Schroder, Director of the Colorado Division of Gaming. “Together, let’s play by the rules and ensure that Colorado remains a safe and responsible gaming destination. By recognizing and preventing illegal gambling, we all win.”


In Colorado, gambling opportunities abound, but not all are legal. Illegal gambling operations not only fail to protect players but can also serve as a breeding ground for serious crimes, including fraud, human trafficking, drug trafficking, and burglary, posing a threat to public safety and community well-being. Participants in illegal gambling activities also compromise personal and financial information, putting individuals at risk of identity theft, unreliable payouts, and potential legal consequences, such as fines and imprisonment.


Coloradans and visitors are encouraged to visit the official website for more information and resources on legal gambling options in Colorado.