- Gaming tax revenue for the state increased by $41 million in 2021
- Amendment 77, passed in 2021, removed the restrictive $100 betting limit in Colorado
- The legislation led to more customers playing at casinos in the state
The casino industry is continuing to recover across the US, especially in Colorado where operators reported a huge increase in revenue over the past year, and as a result, gaming tax contributions to the government have also grown significantly.
According to the latest figures from the state’s Department of Revenue, taxes were up by over $41 million over the past fiscal year, an increase of 39% from the year prior.
A portion of the gambling tax revenues collected by the government goes to the Limited Gaming Fund which provides funding to the three gambling towns – Central City, Cripple Creek and Black Hawk – and their counties and the Colorado Historical Society. The state’s general fund also receives a share, with some of the funds also benefitting various colleges across the state.
Amendment 77 – Played a Key Role
The spike in gaming revenue is mainly due to an influx of players at casinos located in the state’s three mountain gambling towns where wagers reached record levels in 2021. The venues were closed for a few months beginning March 2020 due to COVID-19 and then resumed operations in June of that year on a limited capacity.
Throughout most of 2021 though, restrictions had been eased and things began going back to normal, allowing customers to return to the state’s gaming and entertainment destinations.
But apart from that, the voters’ passage of a legal amendment that allows each city to set its own betting limits also played a factor in driving more customers to the state’s casinos, according to Peggi O’Keefe, executive director of the Colorado Gaming Association, a non-profit organization representing casino owners across the state.
Amendment 77, which was approved in 2021, essentially removed the state’s restrictive betting limit previously set at $100. The betting limit had been in place since 2009. With cities now authorized to approve their own limits, more games have become available, including Big Six, Pai Gow, and baccarat which are proving popular among players.
The positive impact of the Amendment is reflected in the huge improvements at casino establishments in the three towns which have expanded their facilities over the past year.
O’Keefe said their main goal in introducing the new changes is to retain customers who were going to other states that don’t have restrictive betting limits. So far, the government has been successful in that aspect.