Colorado Gambling Towns Anticipate Higher Betting Limits
After legislation passed late last year, gambling towns in Colorado are now looking forward to offering higher betting limits to players.
In November, the voters of Colorado approved Amendment 77. This amendment allows gambling towns in the state to increase betting limits beyond the previous cap of $100. Black Hawk, Cripple Creek, and Central City are able to offer more to players, which should drive up visitation numbers. The amendment also allows for new games to be added if they are approved by the Limited Gaming Control Commission. Cities began voting to improve changes and now that 2021 is upon us, we should see those changes implemented.
Cities Passing Measures
Each of the gambling towns have passed measures to allow unlimited single-bet wagers as well as new games. for Black Hawk, the City Council gathered on December 1 to approve changes. They want the betting limit to be limitless as well as games like pai gow poker, baccarat and keno added. Other games are also requested pending rulemaking by the state.
On May 1, the new amendment comes into play, so as the towns get ready now, they will be able to implement changes in just a few months. Once the new options are included, the state will be able to provide a Vegas-style experience. However, the casino towns do not expect to change anything but the games and limits, not their looks or amenities.
The change will allow the casinos in these three towns to keep players in the state or even bring some from neighboring states, instead of the opposite. Operators do not expect to rake in millions from the change but having parity with neighboring states is a good bonus.
Appealing to the Vegas Crowd
For years, the casinos in the state have felt hindered by the small variety of games they could provide as well as the lower betting limits. For those who have big pockets, Colorado was not a gambling destination, especially since $100 was the betting cap.
Now with a Vegas-style touch coming to the region, the casinos will be able to pull in Coloradans, especially those who live in the metro area. Denver is actually the second-largest feeder market for the city of Las Vegas. Casinos in Colorado are hoping that the changes will see that crowd visit their market as well.
Casinos are hoping that visitors will make the state a primary destination, coming to the region to enjoy the mountain community as well as gambling. It is expected that the changes will increase revenues at the local and state level. When the last change came to the state regarding gambling, it generated around $10 million in extra annual income.
With Amendment 77, it remains in conjunction with state gambling laws and dedicates 78% of tax revenues to community colleges. There is no change as to where the money goes after it comes in from operators, there will just be more to go around.
Changes in an Unknown World
As the gambling towns look to make serious changes to the gambling market as a whole, how will it be received? Right now, the COVID-19 pandemic is still a huge problem in the US. People are still unwilling to travel far distances and take part in social entertainment due to the fear of contracting the virus.
It is unclear as to when the pandemic will be over. People continue to avoid following protocols such as wearing masks and social distancing. The vaccination process is lagging as well, which means that it will take a much longer time period than expected to get everyone in the US vaccinated.
We shall see in the coming months how the industry sets up for the changes and how the gambling towns are able to see the benefit. Hopefully by May when the changes take effect, players will be ready to travel and take part in the new gambling options offered in the state.