Colorado House has given the green light to a controversial bill seeking to allow local casinos to loan money to their patrons. Even though some members of the state Legislature welcomed the proposal, others believe that the approval of the proposed piece of legislation will only result in more harm by permitting players to place bets for more money than they could actually afford to.
Representatives of the two major parties implied that the bill in question, called SB23-259, was only brought to life in order to support the gambling lobby’s interests in the state. Reportedly, the piece of legislation mostly targets high-roller customers who would otherwise have to physically bring large amounts of money to the casino or seek ATMs to withdraw cash on-site.
Cashless gambling is currently not officially available in most regulated markets across the US. The recently proposed legislative measure in Colorado, however, seeks to bring convenience to many players across the state by providing them with the chance to avoid bringing large amounts of cash with them, with supporters of the SB23-259 bill saying that the piece of legislation will take care of the need of tourists who come to Colorado to gamble.
Not everyone has been backing the bill, though. According to some, the proposed legislative measure has a darker side to it, as it may make it possible for less affluent customers to spend much more than they can actually afford to. Even though the measure clearly states that Colorado casinos would be required to evaluate a person before offering them credit and potential recipients of that credit would have to apply in advance, there are still implications that the measure might not be enough to prevent compulsive or irresponsible spending.
Reportedly, that was exactly the reason why the bill, which needed one final vote to pass the Colorado House, fell two votes short of passing, with 34 votes “against” and 31 votes “for” the measure.
Lawmaker’s Sudden Change of Heart Sees the Gambling Credits Bill Pass the First Chamber of Colorado Legislature
The aforementioned bill was criticized by Republican Representative Richard Holtorf, who noted that people who were likely to use so-called “gambling credit” were the ones to have spent their money and could not afford to lose more.
The lawmaker, however, had an unexpected change of heart, and less than an hour after he slammed the measure, he asked for another vote on SB23-259. This time, three of the legislators who previously voted against the bill supported the measure, allowing it to pass the House with 33 to 32 votes. Only one of the previous critics of the bill, Representative Jenny Willford, voted against the measure during the second vote.
The indecisiveness and sudden change of heart of Mr. Holforf attracted some criticism from the representatives from the Democratic Party, with Representative Bob Marshall saying such actions were the reason why people lost trust in the Government. For the time being, Representative Holforf refused to comment on his decision to eventually back the proposed measure.
Outside of the House Chamber, Representatives from both parties criticized the decision to give the green light to the piece of legislation in question, with some of them implying that the measure was only brought to life to serve the interest of the gambling industry lobby in the state of Colorado. Others reminded that the bill’s journey in the state Legislature is not over yet, with the proposed amendment set to be taken into consideration by the Senate. If the Senate also passes SB23-259, then it will be up to Colorado Governor Jared Polis to sign the measure into law.
If the gambling credit bill is approved, it is expected to go into effect in the fall.