Vegas-style gambling in Colorado?
December 24, 2007
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. ” State Rep. Al White is working on a proposal to allow Las Vegas-style, no-limit gambling in Colorado.
He said his proposal could bolster tourism and funding for state colleges and universities.
White, R-Hayden, said the $100 million that the gambling industry generates every year for Colorado could double if betting caps were scrapped and if casinos could operate around the clock.
Colorado voters in 1990 approved a constitutional amendment allowing gambling with betting caps of $5 per game in Black Hawk, Central and Cripple Creek. Casinos cannot operate between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m.
Currently, revenue fosters historic preservation, aids communities affected by gambling and supplements the state budget.
White said his proposal would require voter approval.
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Chad Hills, analyst for gambling research and policy for the Christian ministry group Focus on the Family, called gambling a “cancerous cyst.”
“You can count on Focus on the Family to launch a full-fledged war against any legislator or legislation that promotes 24-7 gambling,” he said.
But Colorado Department of Higher Education Director David Skaggs told lawmakers Tuesday that any additional revenue could help the state adequately fund its colleges and universities.
The Colorado Gaming Association has not taken a position on White’s measure, Executive Director Lois Rice said.
Gilpin County Commissioner Al Price, who lives in Black Hawk, said it made sense to either raise betting caps or lengthen casinos’ operation hours.
“I’m a businessman. I couldn’t live selling my product for the same price for the next 20 years,” Price said.