Let gaming communities decide
Colorado has permitted limited stakes gaming in three mountain communities – Central City, Black Hawk and Cripple Creek – for almost 30 years. As a result, these former mining towns built a new economy dependent on hotels, restaurants and tourists who visit for gaming.
To provide more tax money for these local communities and community colleges, Colorado voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2008 that raised single betting limits from $5 to $100 and allowed casinos to add craps and roulette games.
Now, these local communities are asking Colorado voters to let their towns decide whether they want to approve maximum single bets of any amount and add new games such as baccarat.
The measure will help boost travel and tourism jobs and increase revenues for restaurants, hotels and casinos, which are the lifeblood of these towns. This will be a particularly welcome boost during the pandemic. The measure will also increase tax revenue for students at community colleges. This funding bump won’t be a game changer, but will provide additional resources to the community college system at a time when financial resources are scarce.
Betting limits are critical to the gaming industry as they compete with other gaming markets, such as Nevada, and the gaming industry is critical to the economy in these communities. Since voters in these towns are the most impacted by gaming, they should have the right to make decisions about gaming that is right for them.
Learn more about Amendment 77
- Bell Policy Group
- Boulder Weekly
- Brush News-Tribune
- City of Blackhawk
- City of Central
- City of Cripple Creek
- Colorado Chamber of Commerce
- Colorado Community College System
- Colorado Concern
- Colorado Gaming Association
- Colorado Mountain College
- Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR)
- The Cortez Journal
- David Olguin
- The Denver Post
- The Durango Herald
- The Durango Telegraph
- Everlasting Creations
- Fort Morgan Times
- The Little Store
- One Colorado
- Polly Baca
- Progress Now
- The Pueblo Chamber of Commerce
- Rocky Mountain Canary General Store
- Silver Dollar Business Improvement District
- Sterling Journal Advocate
- The Vail Daily
Why local communities want change now
The current limit has not kept pace with inflation or other states that permit gaming. Of the 23 states with commercial betting, Colorado is one of only two states with bet limits. In fact, Colorado’s limits are by far the most restrictive in the country.
If local voters choose to approve new games and betting limits, mountain casinos could attract higher income Coloradans who would typically travel to other states to gamble, as well as out-of-state, high-stakes bettors visiting Aspen or Vail. This will improve economic opportunities for people living in these mountain towns by bringing in more tourists, creating good paying jobs and increasing tax revenues.
More tax revenue isn’t a game changer, but it helps
If local voters change the betting limits, it won’t significantly increase tax revenue. However, it will:
Generate a modest amount of new tax revenue for the state’s community colleges to help more students stay in school and graduate. The money will provide resources to students so they can complete certificate programs and obtain a degree.
Benefit small businesses and the trades, which need skilled workers, by helping community college students graduate.
Create additional local jobs and revenues for restaurants, hotels, convention bureaus and casinos.
Permit voters in each local community where gaming is legal make decisions about the industry that are best for them and their economy.