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Mike Johnson May 7, 2019 3 min read
Colorado Sends Sports Betting Bill to Governor
- Colorado’s sports betting bill HB19-1327 awaits governmental signature
- 10% Gross Revenue to go to the State Fund
- Operators would need to foot the bill for the new Gaming Control Commission
The Colorado’s Senate has cleared HB19-1327 and is now sending it to the office of Governor Jared Polis who has to give his final approval and set Colo on a road to sports betting.
Sports Betting in Colorado is a Signature Away
It didn’t take HB19-1327 long and the May legislative session proved a success. Now, the bill has been sent out of Colorado’s Senate House with 27-8 votes in favor of the proposed sports betting legislation.
The bill awaits approval from Governor Jared Polis who needs to ratify the legislation or send it back to the House for revision. Introduced on April 18, HB19 has been one of the quickest draft laws to pass both houses and garner a strong support across the political spectrum.
If HB19 is passed into law, the Colorado Gaming Control Commission would be established, similar to counterparts in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Nevada, and across the United States.
A Look at the Bill’s Specifics
The proposed legislation would introduce a 10% Gross Revenue on all sports betting businesses. Before the state can give the go-ahead, voters will also have to hold a referendum to decide whether they want wagering allowed in their region.
Some specifics are still not part of the bill. For example, license fees are still of unknown amount. The Commission would be tasked with running background checks on each business that intends to open a sports betting property or extend existing operations to accommodate the vertical. As per the bill, these fees wouldn’t exceed $125,000.
Presently, there are 33 casino properties across Colorado that may apply for a sports betting license should HB19 leave the governor’s office as law.
All businesses would have to contribute to the State General Fund as well as ensure that all Commission costs related to its establishment are covered.
Another 6% would be allocated to the Hold Harmless Fund and $130,000 would be given to the Office of Behavioral Health in the Colorado Department of Human Services in a bid to prevent gambling harm and addiction.
An (UN)Easy Passage
Despite their difference, Democrats and Republicans managed to work together, fast-tracking the sports betting bill.
Democratic House Majority Leader Alec GarnettandRepublican Minority Leader Patrick Neville successfully spearheaded the legislation by convincing lawmakers to debate the issue instead of letting it slide into a political limbo as most bipartisan drafts eventually end up.
Casinos have been fearing that sports betting might siphon off funds from their table games while in fact the business has been driving results for casinos’ classics, including roulette, Blackjack and Baccarat.
In addition, casinos will be allowed to decide their own limits when it comes to sports bets whereas all other products are capped at $100.