Colorado Senate

  • Colorado’s State Senate just passed House Bill 22 which would direct more money to the problem gambling fund.
  • The change from continuous to annual funding has caused mixed feelings among the House of Representatives.

DENVER – The Colorado State Senate just passed House Bill 22 that would direct money annually to the Responsible Gambling Grant Program.

The Colorado House of Representatives had passed the bill on Monday, but the change from “continuously” to “annually” has caused some to question if the Senate amended version of the bill will pass through the House again.

What House Bill 22 Covers

House Bill 22’s purpose is to raise more money for Colorado’s problem gambling fund. In 2019 when legal sports betting in Colorado launched the fund was given $130,000 per year, which ranked 37th amongst the 50 when compared to per capita funds directed towards the program. The new bill would raise the money raised to three million dollars.

Given the change to annual payments alteration made by the Senate, the directors of the problem gambling fund would have to re-apply every year on September 1st. The application would necessitate a clear outline of what the grant money would be used for.

Another interesting note about HB 22 is that it limits the number of free play bets that Colorado’s sportsbooks may deduct when calculating never revenue generated through sports betting.

Divide Caused By The Annual Payments Change Made To House Bill 22

The original version of HB 22 had mandated that the fund would be funded continuously, but that was then changed by the Senate.

If the change was as simple as that, there would not be as many legislators who have issues with the change. The key difference from continuous to annual is that annual grant payments require the annual applications for renewal, leaving the door open to possible cuts or outright denial.

Those fears of possible funding cuts and outright denial have led some lawmakers to say mention that the first budget cut in a state with legal sports betting is the problem gambling fund.

The Colorado House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the bill again today.

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