- The bill will allow Colorado residents to vote in November on whether to allow sports gambling.
- The bill would allow betting through existing Colorado casinos.
- Revenue from sports wagering is estimated to be at $20 million a year.
DENVER – Colorado betting fans can get a little more pep in their step now that a sports gambling bill has passed its first hearing. The bill still has more levels of the legislature to push through, but there is now legal traction in the state.
The sports betting bill, known as HB 1327 would decriminalize sports betting in Colorado if it is passed. It would also provide money for the state from its taxation, as well as provide a water plan implementation fund cash plan with the tax money. The bill has two weeks to make it through the legislature before it adjourns.
Following the blueprint laid out by other states that have legalized sports gambling, HB 1327 would allow for sports betting through the state’s existing casinos. The state would be able to save money and bring sports wagering to the state much faster by using the existing casinos instead of building new sportsbooks from scratch.
There will only be three individuals that will be given a master license for limited gaming: the owners of the casinos in Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek. Colorado will collect a 10% tax on the net revenue from sports gambling at those operations. If passed, sports betting in Colorado will be regulated by the department of revenue as well as additional supervision by the existing limited gaming control commission. Revenue from wagering is projected to be at $20 million a year, according to House Majority Leader Alec Garnett, D-Denver.
The sports gambling bill will also help fund a state water plan that is expected to cost $100 million a year for the next 30 years. The plan would stretch the water supply in Colorado.
If HB 1327 can pass through the required legislative hoops in the speedy two-week time frame before adjournment then voters will have a precarious decision on their hands on deciding to allow sports betting in their state.