Colorado voters narrowly legalize sports wagering

In a close vote, Colorado voters approved sports betting.

On Tuesday, Colorado voters narrowly approved Proposition DD legalizing statewide sports wagering in Colorado.

The proposition passed after receiving 756,720 votes in favor and 723,665 votes against it.

The proposition read: “Shall state taxes be increased by twenty-nine million dollars annually to fund state water projects and commitments and to pay for the regulation of sports betting through licensed casinos by authorizing a tax on sports betting of ten percent of net sports betting proceeds, and to impose the tax on persons licensed to conduct sports betting?”

With the passage of Proposition DD, Colorado is now the 19th state with some form of legal sports betting.

Breaking down the votes

The vote was too close to call on the day of the vote and so the count continued into Wednesday morning.

Voters in the areas surrounding the cities of Denver and Boulder showed the most support for sports betting. Denver County contained the most support as 63.2% of the votes were in favor of the proposition.

Colorado’s rural counties were mostly against the bill. Baca County had the strongest vote against the bill with 78.1% of voters voting against sports betting. El Paso County, which is the most populous county in the state, also voted against the proposition.

Now that voters have had their say on sports betting in Colorado, the state can move forward with launching the activity.

What’s covered in the Colorado sports betting bill?

Colorado’s sports betting bill, HB19-1233, was introduced in April and legalizes land-based and statewide mobile sports betting.

Three different types of sports betting license will be available: a master license, a sports betting operator license and an internet sports betting operator license. The cost of these licenses has yet to be set.

The 33 casinos in the state would be able to apply for master licenses. Each casino will be able to partner with a land-based sports betting operator and an internet sports betting operator.

The bill also proposes a 10% gross revenue tax for sports betting operators in the state.

HB19-1327 would also establish the Colorado Gaming Control Commission (CGCC), a new regulatory body charged with regulating the state’s sports betting industry.

The state expects the first legal wagers to be placed in May 2020.

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