Colorado casino loan bill vetoed by Governor Polis

May 25, 2023
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The bipartisan bill would have provided lines of credit for players, with casinos' approval.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis has vetoed a proposal that would have permitted casinos to loan money and offer lines of credit of $1,000 or more. The measure was rejected on the premise that casinos could have taken advantage of people with gambling addictions.

Bipartisan sponsors of the bill originally posited that casino loans could be convenient and protect “high rollers” from needing to travel with large amounts of cash. Such players could apply in advance and use a line of credit in a casino, after a creditworthiness approval from the casino operator.

Polis wrote in his veto letter, “The key element I take issue with is whether persons with a gambling disorder can meaningfully consent to a transaction. There are serious issues regarding the ability of a person with a gambling disorder to freely consent to a loan while on a gambling spree.”

Other opponents of the bill agreed that high rollers may not benefit from the convenience, as they can often suffer unmanageable losses from large bets in the midst of receiving casino perks or rewards.

Representative Marc Snyder, a Democratic sponsor of the bill, said that it was intended for not only high rollers, but for tourists and the casino industry’s benefit. Snyder said, “It’s something that the casinos feel will help them to build and maintain (their) customer base.”

Democratic Senator Dylan Roberts, Republican Representative Ron Weinberg and Republican Senator Mark Baisley also cosponsored the bill. In the House of Representatives the measure nearly failed upon final vote but, after several lawmakers changed positions, it was allowed to pass.

Polis wrote that he supported the right to gamble, but clarified his reasoning for the veto by saying, “My focus is on saving Coloradans money, not exposing them to loans from casinos that could be their financial ruin.”


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