Local Choice Colorado (LCC) Initiative 257, which pushed for a ballot measure in state gambling towns allowing voters to raise the current $100 maximum bet, exceeded the 124,632 signatures required for consideration, gaining over 200,000.
These were subsequently submitted to Colorado’s secretary of state Jena Griswold, whose office will be responsible for validating the votes. If verified, the LCC’s measure will appear on the state ballot this November.
Should Griswold’s office confirm that the minimum signature requirement was met, citizens would be asked during the presidential election whether they wish to forfeit their legal input concerning ongoing casino matters, instead allowing voters who reside in the three gaming towns to make the choice.
According to CEO of Monarch Casino and Resort in Black Hawk David Farahi, higher limits could attract new players who would otherwise venture to Nevada for high-limit games.
“By no stretch of the imagination are we thinking that everyone is going to stop going to Las Vegas. But if we can get some portion of those people to stay and play in Colorado, it benefits the whole State,” he said.
Opponents say Colorado shouldn’t look for a fiscal recovery on the backs of problem gamblers, however Farahi disputed the claim, stating: “We have a responsibility regardless of the bet limit to help identify people who are gambling irresponsibly.”
The main tenet behind the increase is to allow the gaming industry to recover economic losses incurred due to COVID-19, which has had a dire impact on gambling everywhere.
The 2020 gaming question, should it reach the ballot, would need 68,548 votes in support.