This past Tuesday, the people of Colorado voted to determine whether or not sports betting would be legalized in the state. At the end of the night, the finally tally was too close to determine an outcome. When vote counting finished up on Wednesday, the final margin was extremely slim.
With just over 50% (50.7%) of the votes, sports betting was in fact legalized in Colorado. The number of voters that selected no on the ballot accounted for more than 49% of total votes. However, the state only requires for a vote greater than 50% for the law to pass. If the margin of victory had been less than 0.5%, a recount would have been allowed.
The total number of voters that gave their opinion on the measure totaled more than 1.4 million. The difference in the two voting options was just over 20,000 when counting finished Wednesday afternoon.
Proposition DD will impose a 10% tax on all sports wagering revenue, with roughly 2/3 devoted to water projects in the state. Estimates project that more than $10 million in revenue will be made during the 2020-21 fiscal year. This will likely grow closer to $30 million once there are plenty of operators in the state and mobile betting is fully underway.
For now, legal sports betting will be overseen by the state’s Division of Gaming. The group has until May of 2020 to decide on a number of regulations. This includes how sports betting will launch, how it will work, and how to ensure bettors are of proper age.
The passage of the bill now means that all 33 casinos in the Rocky Mountain state can provide legal sports betting. They have the option of offering retail and mobile betting. The latter will be much more important considering the higher usage of mobile bets in states that currently offer it.
All 33 casinos in the state are located in either Central City, Cripple Creek, and Black Hawk. Central City and Black Hawk are roughly an hour drive away from Denver, the state’s largest city by population. Cripple Creek is further south and still an hour away from the 2nd largest city in the state, Colorado Springs. This is another reason why mobile betting will be key to tax revenue generation.
Regardless of how narrowly close the vote was, sports betting is indeed legal in Colorado. For interested bettors, you’ll still need to wait another 6 months to find a legal avenue, but at least it absolutely will be coming!