• HB 1327 will be read for a third and final time today.
  • If the bill passes its third Senate reading, it will go to the governor’s desk before heading to the voters in November.
  • Colorado sports betting revenues would go towards the Colorado Water Plan.

DENVER – On Thursday, Colorado’s omnibus sports wagering bill passed its second Senate reading with no amendments. House Bill 1327 will be read before the Senate for a third and final time today.

If HB 1327 passes its third Senate reading, it will head to the desk of Gov. Jared Polis (D), who has indicated he will sign the bipartisan legislation.

Once signed, the issue of legal Colorado sports betting will go directly to the voters on the November ballot. While state lawmakers could formally legalize sports wagering without a referendum, the only way to levy a tax on the product is via voter approval.

In addition to being on the statewide ballot, voters from the municipalities where sports wagering licenses would be issued (i.e. towns like Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek that host active casinos) would also get to vote on whether or not sports wagering would be allowed within their local borders.

Indications are strong that voters will approve the measure, particularly since HB 1327 earmarks the lion’s share of generated tax revenue for the Colorado Water Plan, a popular conservationist initiative in the tourist-heavy state.

Under the guidelines of HB 1327, Colorado sports betting would be legal at both land-based venues and via online, mobile sports betting apps. The latter would be geo-fenced in accordance with both the Federal Wire Act and regional voters’ wishes.

The proposed tax rate on sports wagering revenues is 10 percent, and the minimum legal age to gamble on sports is set to 21 years old.

Should sports betting be legalized and voter-approved in the state this year, bettors will likely have to wait until sometime in Spring 2020 before they will be able to place their wagers at land-based and mobile Colorado sports wagering venues.

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