A measure to keep Colorado casinos afloat amid the pandemic-led crisis is underway and will be finalized in the November general election.
With more than 125,000 signatures pushing it to the ballot, Initiative No. 257 appears to receive approval from the most state voters to go into effect by May 2021.
If all goes well, the state’s three gaming communities will have the opportunity to stretch their muscles while expanding revenue and jobs.
What is Initiative No. 257 For Colorado Casinos?
If approved, Initiative No. 257 will allow the residents in Colorado’s three gaming regions to approve maximum bets of any amount. The Centennial State’s three gaming regions include the towns of Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek, located in Gilpin and Teller counties.
If it passes, it will empower residents in the three towns the option to hold a local election and decide whether residents want to extend betting limits and games.
In addition, the affected people will also be given the opportunity to allow casinos to expand their offerings beyond what is currently being allowed by state law.
Currently, casinos can only offer the likes of poker, roulette, blackjack, craps, and slots.
Identical measures have been given the go-ahead before in Colorado. For instance, in 2008, voters supported Amendment 50, which led to the addition of craps while increasing the maximum bet limit to $100.
Initiative Passage Could Be Crucial for Colorado Casinos
The casinos in Colorado have opened following prolonged closures due to the pandemic. They still operate with reduced capacity and without table games.
According to Gilpin County Commissioner Gail Watson,
“Each month that the casinos are shut down, we lose approximately $1 million in gaming revenue. Allowing the casinos to open with the necessary safety measures puts us on the long road back to financial recovery. If also allows people who work in the establishments to return to work.
Initiative No. 257 called for extra urgency because of the pandemic-led closures. The Covid-19 hit the gaming town’s economy badly. With this passage of this initiative, these areas could be able to recover losses.
While commenting on the situation, the former Colorado Senate President Bill Cardman said,
“If these mountain communities like to increase travel and tourism, they should be allowed to do so as they bore the brunt of the pandemic. Even a smaller boost in revenue would be a win-win for business and employees in these regions, as well the community colleges that will get more resources to help students procure a college degree.”