With proceeds from sports betting earmarked to fund Colorado's water plan, the Colorado River District is now on board and supportive of sports wagering across Colorado.

  • Proposition DD on the upcoming November ballot will ask voters whether or not to approve sports betting in Colorado.
  • Net proceeds of CO sports betting activity will be taxed at a rate of 10%.
  • Funds collected by the state will be used for the Colorado Water Plan.
  • Colorado Sportsbooks will only be allowed within three towns; however, online sports betting will be available statewide.

MONTROSE, Colo. – In an effort to fund the Colorado Water Plan, the Colorado River District has come out to support Proposition DD. If approved, the ballot proposition would legalize sports betting in CO and net proceeds from the activity would be used to fund the plan.

“It seems to me like it’s an opportunity for us to be the first ones to use those dollars and start putting money into the state’s ideas of what the future of water ought to be,” said Marc Catlin, a Montrose Republican who represents House District 58 and also sits on the river district board as Montrose County’s representative.

A tax rate of 10% would be assessed on Colorado sports betting which is estimated to generate between $10 to $15 million per year to the state. While this may seem like a sizable figure, the Colorado Water Plan will be far more expensive.

“It’s seen as more of a down payment by the board than anything else. The funding gap is $3 billion over 30 years,” said Zane Kessler, Colorado River District Director of Government Relations.

That number equates to the state needing $100 million in funding for the plan annually for the next 30 years. Because of the small percentage of funding that legal sports betting could bring in, opponents question whether it’s even worth passing.

However, those involved in the state’s environmental protection have noted that money to fund the Water Plan is not widely available.

“Money, water, and wins by the Broncos are scarce, but DD helps link the three in a way that funds, protects, and keeps Colorado the state we know and love, with healthy rivers, clean drinking water, and abundant recreation,” said Brian Jackson, senior manager of western water at Environmental Defense Fund.

Sportsbooks in Colorado would only be available in the three gambling towns of Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek. However, licensed casinos in those towns would be able to provide mobile sports betting apps that are available throughout CO.

If approved by voters, sports betting in Colorado is expected to launch sometime in 2020.

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