• CO HB 1327 introduced to legalize sports betting.
  • The legislative session in Colorado ends May 3.
  • The issue will have to be brought to the voters.

DENVER – A new sports betting bill was introduced in Colorado on Thursday as the legislative session nears its end.

Better Late Than Never

Colorado State House Majority Leader Alec Garnett and Minority Leader Patrick Neville both introduced CO HB 1327 to legalize sports betting in the state. This bill has come late into the legislative session, as it ends on May 3. Colorado’s Congress has two weeks to pass this bill in both the House and Senate.

The two lawmakers did not give a reason why the bill was so late, but they did lay out the reasons why they introduced the sports betting bill. Garnett said that the main purpose of the bill was to eliminate black market betting. Lawmakers are also hoping that sports betting will bring in anywhere between $4 million and $10 million in tax revenue a year.

Taking It To The Voters

One of the biggest factors about sports betting in Colorado is that it is not going to be up to the lawmakers to make it happen. This bill aims to allow the voters in the state to make the decision in November. This means a statewide referendum will decide whether or not sports betting will be legalized.

Voters will be asked if they want to approve of a 10 percent flat tax on sports betting. The reason why it will be asked like this is due to how tax increases get approved in Colorado. All tax increases must go to the voters to see if they approve of it. Since sports betting would technically be a tax increase, it has to go to the voters for it to happen.

If they do approve of it, Colorado sports betting will be legalized and sportsbooks could begin operations as soon as 2020. The tax proceeds will go to the metro Denver area and agriculture areas in the state. The money will also go to gambling addiction programs.

What Sports Betting Will Look Like

Sports betting has a positive outlook in Colorado. Although the casinos in the state have a strict $100 max bet limit, there are over 33 casinos in the state. All of these casinos could have a sports betting license and open up a sportsbook. They will be allowed to decide their individual cash limits on sports bets.

Bettors will be allowed to gamble on both professional and college teams. They will be even allowed to bet on college teams from their own state, a practice some states like New Jersey have restricted.

There will be a wide range of ways to make your bets as well. On top of the brick-and-motor options available, the casinos will be able to decide if they will allow online and mobile sports betting as well. According to the bill, the only restriction is that “internet sports betting operators shall accept bets only from persons physically located within the state of Colorado.”

Sports betting in Colorado has a positive outlook if it were to be legalized. But there are a lot of steps to go through and not a lot of time. The real challenge is to have the House and Senate pass this legal sports betting bill before May 3. After that, it will be up to the voters to decide if they want to legalize sports wagering in Colorado.

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