The latest legislative session of Colorado lawmakers has come to an end but before its official closure, there has been some movement on the sports betting issue. In the final week of this year’s session, the General Assembly voted to put a measure on the November ballot under which sports betting services will be made legal in the state. Another one, regarding the permanent elimination of TABOR taxpayer refunds was also scheduled for the November ballot.
Despite the fact that sports betting has been a controversial issue, Colorado lawmakers have taken into account the possible addition of the new form of gambling in order to boost the fresh money flow to state coffers.
The measure, called House Bill 1327 is set to create the legislative and regulatory framework under which the casinos situated in the state’s mountain towns would be allowed to open a limited number of in-person sportsbooks. This would provide local residents with the chance to bet on the outcome of games and individual plays. Under the measure, mobile sports betting applications would be created in order for Colorado-based players to be given the chance to bet on sports online.
The matter will be brought as a ballot question in November 2019, with local voters given the chance to decide whether they would like to see the new form of gambling added to the gambling industry of Colorado. The residents of the state would also have to decide whether the new sports betting service will have to pay a 10% tax on its net proceeds. If the measure is approved by Colorado voters, the new form of gambling could be added to the state’s gambling landscape in a year – in May 2020.
New Form of Gambling Could Be Added by May 2020 if Voters Approve
The House Majority Leader Alec Garnett has explained that residents of the state should be given the chance to share their opinion on sports betting and its possible addition to the state. According to him, it is very likely for the above-mentioned sports betting measure to be passed by local voters in November.
The bipartisan piece of legislation was given the green light by both chambers in the last few weeks of the state’s legislative session. Of course, not everyone welcomed the proposal. The opponents of the proposed bill insisted that sports bets should be capped at $100. Also, according to the opponents of the House Bill 1327, local racetracks should be given the chance to offer sports betting services, and Colorado residents should vote on the possible addition of the new form of gambling the way the game of craps was added to local casinos offering under Amendment 50 in 2008.
The measure aimed at legalizing sports betting in the state of Colorado was rolled out by two lawmakers in April. At the time, House Majority Leader Garnett has explained that he had always been focused on eliminating the black market in the state. As part of his bill, which was passed in collaboration with House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, a total of 17 companies which currently own 33 casinos in Colorado would be given the right to apply for a so-called master license. The latter would allow them to open a physical sportsbook at one of their casinos. The would also be able to operate an online sportsbook and mobile sports betting application.
Back in 2014, Colorado voters turned down a proposal for gambling expansion to certain racetracks around the state, which would be possible under a constitutional amendment.