Sports Betting Could Come to Colorado by 2020
Colorado Sports Betting

Senate Approves Colorado Sports Betting Bill

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A Colorado Bill opening the door for legalized sports betting within the Centennial State was introduced at the end of the legislative session. Receiving Senate approval, H 1327 moves one step closer to becoming law.

Technically, according to those currently holding office in Colorado, the bill is not necessarily required for sports betting to be legal in the state. In a statement made last year, the office of the state Attorney General issued a statement that said voter approval is not required for sports betting.

While Article XVIII, Section 2 imposes various restrictions on “lotteries,” commercial sports betting does not qualify as a lottery. The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that betting on horse and dog races is not a lottery, and there is no material difference between betting on horse and dog races and betting on other types of sporting events. Commercial sports betting therefore falls outside the restrictions in Article XVIII, Section 2.”

Choosing to be cautious on the subject and to approach the matter with greater gravity given to public opinion, lawmakers chose to go the route of receiving voter approval, even though it may not technically be required under Colorado law.

H 1327 was introduced as a measure to create a regulated sports betting option for gambling operators. The bill opens the door for three licensing options: a Master License, ideal for operators with multiple locations, a Sports Betting License, ideal for single operators, and an Internet Sports Betting License.

The Colorado Sports Betting Bill has received Senate approval on a 27-8 vote and moves one step closer to being an official sports betting law in Colorado. The Senate approval is currently pending a nod from the House of Representatives on an amendment that was made to create a “hold harmless” fund that will be used to pay restitution to any towns or businesses that may be impacted negatively from the addition of legal sports betting.

Following agreement from the House, H 1327 will move to the Governor's office for an anticipated signature before being placed on the voter ballot this Fall. At this point, it will be up to the public to decide if sports betting will become legalized in Colorado. It is possible that sports bets could be placed in Colorado as early as 2020.

H 1327 Breakdown

H 1327 allows for three types of licenses. Master License, Sports Betting Operator and Internet Sports Betting Operator.

Colorado currently has 33 casinos who will each be competing for the move coveted Master License. The cost of the Master License has not yet been released.

Mobile sports betting is included in the bill and would allow citizens to place sports bets with phones, tablets or pc.

The bill proposes a 10% tax on sports betting, which is fairly lenient compared to legislation

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