With the majority of the votes counted in Colorado, voters in the Centennial State overwhelmingly supported a measure that sought to increase betting limits for several table games at retail casinos throughout the state’s historic mining towns.
As of 6:00 a.m. MDT on Nov. 4, more than 1.65 million voters supported Amendment 77, a measure that allowed casinos in the three towns — Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek — to raise maximum single bet limits to any amount. At the time, the “yes” option led by a margin of 59.8% to 40.2%, according to the Associated Press. About 85% of votes had been reported as of Wednesday morning.
The passage of Amendment 77 also triggers a constitutional change that allows casinos to add new games such as baccarat.
An economic boost to the historic mining towns
“This amendment gives local communities the keys to rev up their economic engines,” said David Farahi, chief operating officer for Monarch Casino Resort and president of the Colorado Gaming Association.
The addition of new casino games is expected to expand the revenue pie for the historic mining communities. The cities, which derive the majority of their tax revenues from gaming, were hit hard by the extended casino shutdowns at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In April, a study from the Wall Street Journal found that Gilpin County, home to Black Hawk and Central City, will be the hardest hit by COVID-19 of any county in the nation. More than 80% of residents in the county are employed in the hospitality and gaming industries.
Prior to Tuesday’s referendum, Colorado capped maximum single bets for casino games at $100. There are no statutory requirements in Colorado that compel sports betting operators to limit single-game wagers, parlays, or other exotic bets.
Colorado voters handed local control to residents of Central City, Black Hawk and Cripple Creek to vote to add new casino games and raise single-wager limits with Amendment 77’s passage. https://t.co/3zTuBeRKJI
— KOAA News5 (@KOAA) November 4, 2020
The approval of Amendment 77 required a simple majority only.
A “yes” vote supports allowing voters in Central, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek Cities — the only towns where gaming is legal in Colorado — to (1) approve a maximum single bet limit of any amount and (2) expand allowable game types in addition to slot machines, blackjack, poker, roulette, and craps.
Last year on election night, Colorado voters narrowly approved a measure that led to the legalization of sports betting in the Centennial State. Voters approved the referendum, Proposition DD, by a slim 51.4% to 48.6% margin.