Colorado Department of Revenue lays out options for legal sports betting

Colorado’s Department of Revenue (DOR) has published a public policy document that outlines how sports betting in the state could be managed.

According to the document, the DOR believes that it is the ideal regulatory body to monitor sports betting in Colorado.

The document reads: “After researching and examining laws and regulations of other states that have begun to allow sports betting, it is recommended that DOR act as the regulatory agency over sports betting in Colorado.”

The document then goes on to name potential departments within the DOR that could monitor sports betting. These include the Division of Racing, the Division of Gaming and the Colorado Lottery.

The DOR also suggests that it may be worth creating “an entirely new division dedicated to the regulation of sports betting.”

After outlining the potential regulatory bodies for sports betting operations, the document goes on to suggest 14 minimum requirements for any sports betting legislation that is introduced.

The first point and possibly the most important is the need for a competitive tax rate. The document suggests a tax rate that falls between 6.5% and 15% and warns against excessive tax rates that could encourage players to gamble on illegal sites.

DOR’s document highlights that both online and mobile sports betting is crucial to the success of the market. The document suggests that regulation should ensure servers are located within state lines and that player accounts should be set-up in person at a physical licensed casino.

The DOR document suggests that both casinos and racetracks in the state should be allowed to offer sports betting.

When it comes to the major sports leagues, the DOR suggests that legislation should not allocate an integrity fee to the major sports leagues.  Instead, the document puts forth the view that the integrity of sports betting is the state’s responsibility.

On the topic of integrity fees, the document says: “These sports should already have integrity built into their games and regulations, and integrity fees are simply a means for handing over money to the leagues.”

The DOR document confirms that’s a statutory amendment will be required to introduce sports betting legislation rather than a constitutional amendment.

On 2 August 2018, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman published a formal opinion on sports betting which said: “Although commercial sports betting is not subject to state constitutional restrictions, it falls within the definition of prohibited gambling under Colorado’s criminal code, making it unlawful.

“Consequently, to legalize commercial sports betting in the state, a statutory change, but not a constitutional amendment, would be required.”

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