Preparing for Las Vegas in the Rocky Mountains – Colorado Towns Increase Casino Betting Limits

Preparing for Las Vegas In the Rockies


Colorado Casinos Remove Betting Limits

Ameristar Casinos

Ameristar Casino and Spa in Black Hawk, Colorado

In November 2020 the people of Colorado approved by vote Amendment 77. It allows 3 casino cities to change betting stakes and add games at their casinos without going through the vote of the entire state.

And so casinos in Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek are allowed to increase, or remove altogether bet limits, as well as approve new casino games in their premises without requiring a constitutional change or state ballot.

Amendment 77 also discusses the allocation of tax revenues from casinos to support community colleges throughout Colorado.   

Support vs. Objection to Amendment 77

The vote was passed with more than 1.6 million votes in favor, which is just under 60%. Being a constitutional amendment of the state, Amendment 77 needed more than 50% support to pass.

People that support the measure say it will allow the residents of Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek to take control of their destinies and do what is best for their communities and local economy. This, while the opposition raised concerns about the removal of betting limits causing a spike in gambling-related problems and addiction.

Bruce Brown, one of the supporters of Amendment 77 said in a statement: “We appreciate that Coloradans supported our town’s right to determine our future so we can improve economic opportunities for the people who live and work here.” Brown, who is also former mayor of Cripple Creek added: “Things won’t change overnight, but I believe this will help us get back on our feet.”

Putting Colorado on an Even Playing Field with Other Gambling States

Colorado previously had a betting cap of $100 which was mandated in the state’s constitution. It also powered the state to approve new games, on the condition that the games are approved by Colorado’s Limited Gaming Control Commission. Bet limits only existed in Colorado and in South Dakota (with much higher limits). So these changes now put the Mountain state on a more even playing field with other states in the country that allow legal gambling.

The Cities Starting to Make Changes

On December 1, 2020 Black Hawk City Council already voted to approve uncapped single-bet wagers and allowing casinos in the city to add to their halls tables offering baccarat, keno, pai gow poker and a few other games pending state rules. The changes will come into effect by May 1 as stated in Amendment 77. As a city official said to the press: “Soon, Coloradans won’t have to hop on a plane to satisfy their appetite for Las Vegas-style gaming.”

Public officials in Central City and Cripple Crick soon followed the steps of Black Hawk and are now also passing their own measures to introduce new games and lift bet limits. Some elected officials and casino industry captains are trying to manage expectations on how much of an impact Amendment 77 will have on these cities and communities.

Sean Demeule, GM of one of Colorado’s biggest casinos, Ameristar Casino Resort and Spa in Black Hawk, said: “This is not a game changer for us. When I say it’s not a game changer I mean I don’t expect it to grow revenue by hundreds of millions of dollars every year. It just allows us to have some parity with neighboring states.”

Advantages to Amendment 77

This isn’t the first time casinos in the state are making changes, but in 2008 it required to pass Amendment 50 to the state’s constitution to increase bet limits in Colorado casinos from $5 to the current $100. And also add roulette and craps to the list of permitted games, as well as allow casinos to stay open 24 hours.

One game for example that casinos are looking to add soon is Baccarat. This fast-paced, two-card game which was an iconic James Bond favorite should be one of first games Colorado casinos will add to their floors. But the addition is still pending the gaming commission’s approval which will be considered along a list of new games at an upcoming meeting.

Demeule, who is also the Secretary-Treasurer of the Colorado Gaming Association pointed the advantages of not having to vote and change the state’s constitution every time casinos want to make a change or add a game: “To allow the local government and the local voters to kind of control the offerings allows us to react to industry trends more quickly and allows us to offer games that are available in other casinos around the country.”

Catering to High Rollers and Others

Unlimited betting amounts are still going to be limited by how much an average player will be willing to risk. Lifting the bet limits doesn’t mean $5,000-a-hand blackjack tables are going pop up in every casino and replace the $25-a-hand games.

Ameristar, the casino that Demeule manages is owned by Penn National Gaming Inc. It owns and operates gambling properties in more than 20 states across the country. Demeule said that while most people don’t gamble at levels reserved for high-rollers, also known as “whales” in casino jargon, he is confident that these high-stakes Penn clients around the country will now consider Colorado. Whereas bet limits may have kept them away before. “We have a great product here in Colorado,” Demeule said.

Amendment 77 as an Economic Development Tool

Jeremey Fey, the Mayor of Central City, says that gross wagers will rise and these extra profits will bring in his opinion key benefits for his community. Currently over 60% of the town’s commercial property is vacant. Fey supported the legislation as a tool for economic development. After a recent sale of an historic building that sat empty for decades, he felt the time for change is right and the future is bright.

Central City and Black Hawk are right next to each other, but they took very different strategies to being casino towns. According to Fey, casino operators are limited to development of up to 4 stories in Central City. But Black Hawk is home to Ameristar Tower which has 536 hotel rooms. It is also home to the Monarch Casino Resort Spa and a few other big-name properties that are expanding in Black Hawk.

Fey said jokingly: “I never thought that some of our mom-and-pop casinos will be hosting the whales of America. They’re welcome here. I’ll have them over for dinner. But (Amendment 77) was more important in enticing new operators to the market. I’m not sure the average person walking the street anticipated that effect, but I’m optimistic about those effects.”

Colorado Considers “Vegas Style” Gaming

Gilpin County is home to both Black Hawk and Central City. Outgoing Gilpin County Commissioner, Ron Engels says that “Vegas Style” gaming will appeal to many people in the state, especially in Colorado metro areas.

Engels said to the press: “Denver is the second-largest feeder market for Las Vegas and the (casino) operators who are going to be extending their limit or removing them are certainly hoping some of those people stay here. But we’re are also hoping that people will make this a primary destination as well, coming from elsewhere in the country to visit our mountain community.”

He is still concerned of the negative effect on the local community if the county becomes a huge tourist attraction. Engels gave an example that before Black Hawk and Central City became gambling towns, the county had a 4-room jail. As of last month, Gilpin County Justice Center was housing close to 80 inmates. And he also said that 85% of all jail activity was “gaming-related”.

“If (Amendment 77) adds impacts there, we might be at a $10 to $15 million expansion to our justice center,” Engels estimated. But he still hopes that the negatives will not outweigh the benefits. He and other Gilpin County officials “understand very clearly that it will improve our finances. Our portion of the tax distribution will be increasing as the market grows.”

The supporters of Amendment 77 are looking for the increased money it will bring into the economy, probably through the increased visitors, real estate, hotels and all the other indirect profits. Still, Amendment 77 stays in line with Colorado’s existing state gambling laws that dedicate 78% of all tax revenue to state community colleges.

Preparing for Amendment 77 to Take Effect

Amendment 77 will come into effect in May. Until then, the state has to go through some rulemaking. Suzanne Karrer, Colorado’s Department of Revenue Spokeswoman, said that most of the work has to do with changing language and articles, and removing references to the state rules of $100 which will no longer be valid. But she also states that “it won’t be a total free-for-all.” Dan Hartman, Director of the Colorado Division of Gaming also reiterated that “New games must be submitted to the commission for approval.”

What Will Happen Next

It’s hard to predict what will be the status of the Coronavirus pandemic by the time Amendment 77 comes into effect in May. Colorado moved to Orange Level, which allows casinos to host people indoors and in their restaurants. Until recently however, Gilpin County was still enforcing its own rules and keeping all table games shut.

But even with vaccines being rolled out and betting limits being removed, Demeule and others aren’t counting on Amendment 77 to compensate for all the damage and loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. “I don’t know that we’ll ever make back fully what we lost in 2020,” Demeule said.

Still, the analysis of Amendment 77 in Colorado’s 2020 voter guide said it “will likely increase state and local revenue.” But it made no mention of Amendment 50 from 2008 resulting a $10 million increase in yearly gambling tax income. So there are definitely high hopes for Amendment 77.

Betting Online In Colorado

Some more good news on Colorado gambling is that in November 2019 Colorado voted to legalize sports betting, and on May 2020 the state’s first sports betting apps and websites went live. If you are over 21 and within Colorado state limits, you can use your mobile device or computer to bet online. It’s safe, secure and 100% legal.

So don’t wait, sign up today to one of Colorado’s state-regulated sports betting apps and claim a great bonus!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Golden Nugget Logo
Golden Nugget
Being one of the top casinos in the USA, Golden Nugget are now offering Americans one of the best online casino and sportsbooks for the newly-regulated US online casino and sports betting market. Visit Golden Nugget’s website and download their sports betting app, and within minutes you too can be playing and betting in one of the world’s top casinos – all from the comfort of your own home.
Sugar House Casino Logo
Sugarhouse

Sugarhouse is owned by Rush Interactive, which is one of the most prominent providers of online sportsbook and casinos in the country. In 2016, SugarHouse launched it online casino in New Jersey, joined by its online sportsbook in 2018. Since then, it became a leading casino and sportsbook for Americans. Check out their fantastic bonuses, games and bets available, and see yourself why when it comes to casino and sports betting in the USA, Sugarhouse is a Powerhouse 

Resorts Online Casino
Resorts Atlantic
Partnered with Resorts Atlantic City Casino, the Resorts online sportsbook and casino launched in January of this year, and has since been making headways in the race to the top of online sports betting operators in the USA. Just like the Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, Resorts brings online and in its sports betting mobile app everything of top market standard: bonuses, odds, betting markets, types of bets and more.

LATEST BLOG ARTICLES

March Madness Sweet 16 Betting Preview

March Madness seems to get better every year, and the 2022 version has not disappointed. Some favorites have dominated, while others have been dumped out much sooner than expected. Every tournament needs a Cinderella, and Saint Peter’s is one of the most heartwarming underdogs in recent memory. This tournament has shown that anything can happen, and US bettors have had a great time trying to predict these games and sometimes making great profits.

Read More »

March Madness Betting Favorites

With February officially coming to an end, NCAA basketball fans are gearing up for perhaps the biggest March Madness in recent memory. Now more than ever before, there seem to be upset every weekend. Not only that, but college basketball betting has also grown exponentially in the past twelve months since the Baylor Bears won their first national championship in program history. With the hype now starting to build and Selection Sunday less than a month away, sports pundits have been speculating who they believe will bring home the trophy in 2022.

Read More »

March Madness Betting Guide

December has Christmas, January has New Year’s Day, February has Valentine’s Day, and March has March Madness. The time has almost come for the US’ favorite college sports tournament. The nation’s full attention falls on those teams that qualify for the tournament. Over the years, millions of Americans have taken part in local brackets on who will win March Madness.

Read More »

SPORT BETTING APPS

Sports betting has always been an exciting way for fans to buy into the sport, in a way participate and add another dimension of thrill and excitement to the competition, match or any sporting event. With the evolution of remote betting first to phone, and later on to online betting, remote sports-betting not only became available to a wider audience, but also added a whole new level of excitement and magic to sports betting. Today’s mobile sports betting apps, which are readily available on both Android and Apple, are on the front line of technology, and alongside an exceptional slick and user friendly interface, opens to sports betting punters an entire universe of sports events, odds, games and features such as live streaming and in-play betting. Are you into NFL? Are you an NBA fan? Maybe your thing is baseball so you would like to bet on MLB? Or perhaps you are into world sports and want some European Premier Soccer betting? The mobile sports betting apps bring all of this amazing action to your mobile device, so you can bet on what you want, from wherever you are, at any time you choose to.

CASINO APPS

Are you a casino player? Did you always love casino, the atmosphere, the thrill and excitement, and most importantly the dream and sometimes reality of big winnings? You no longer need to wait for your next trip to Vegas, or wherever it is you are planning to go to a casino. Mobile and remote casino gambling has now entered to US, and it is here to stay. Already live in New Jersey, and closely followed by other states, Americans can now join the fun, download a casino mobile app from one of the top, legal and certified US casinos, and have all the magic of casino from their mobile device. Are you a BlackJack player? Or maybe you are into Roulette? Maybe Baccarat or Craps are your game, or are you a fan of slots? Whichever game is for you, you will find it on the mobile casino apps that are now becoming legal and regulated across states, and enable you to have your own private casino on your mobile device. It is legal, it is exciting, and it is magic.

SLOTS APPS

For many, slot machines are the most thrilling part of the casino. The lights, animation, sounds and action take you into another dream world, where you can win huge prizes, jackpots, bonus rounds and what not. The Mobile slot apps that are now available in the US provide the world’s premier slots, all made regulated and fully compliant with the US regulations and laws. So you can safely and securely download the slots mobile app to your mobile device (where it is legal to do so), and have the most amazing slot game experience coming to life on your mobile phone. Are you into progressive slots where you get a chance at winning an amazing jackpot, or perhaps you are into an animated video slot that has branded content with your favourite movie, TV or music stars? All of these amazing titles are just a swipe away, all available on your mobile phone by downloading the mobile slot game app.     

POKER APPS

A lot has changed since the first games of poker were played along the Mississippi River in the 1800s, with Poker becoming a worldwide phenomenon, crossing the boundaries of a card game and considered by many a sport, with tournaments, leagues and champions. Being a game with friends or a professional tournament, the online revolution turned poker to be a game that is played and followed by billions all over the world. And then the latest stage of the poker uprising which is the mobile poker apps, which enable you to access any kind of level, tournament and game from your mobile phone, no matter where you are in the world, and what time it is, you can join in the poker fun and excitement and play against other poker enthusiasts like you around the globe. Poker is now coming home again, and becoming legal to play remotely state after state in the USA also. So now Americans can already download a safe and legal mobile.