House Bill 1327 was enacted by the state’s Governor late May and the measure will appear on the November ballot.
HB 1327 was introduced to the 2019 Regular Session on April 18th, 2019 and quickly passed the House within the same month and moved onto the Senate floor where it was received with open arms. The House Bill details provisions which would authorize and tax sports gambling operations in Colorado. By powers granted to the state Governor Jared Polis, HB 1327 was signed into law on May 29th.
Colorado’s HB 1327 had four sponsors behind it, Democratic Representatives Kerry Donovan and Alec Garnett, and Republican Representatives John Cooke III and Patrick Neville. However, CO state voters must approve of the gambling tax which is currently set at 10% which some officials have stated could rake in as much as $6.5 million in tax revenue. According to Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights, a constitutional amendment made in 1992, state voters are required to approve of all tax hikes.
If voters approve of the tax rate on the November ballot this year, domestic sports gambling will begin operation May 1st, 2020. Any of the 33 licensed gaming facilities and casinos in Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek would then be able to offer domestic in-person and state-wide mobile sports wagering options after receiving betting licenses from the appropriate state regulators and authorities. Colorado gaming operators would be able to apply for a master license which allows them to partner with a retail or online sportsbook provider.
However, voters in the three gambling towns mentioned above would also need to approve of the measure through a local vote too for the state to offer such wagering options. Coloradans would need to be at least 21 years of age to legally wager through these domestic betting options. Thankfully Colorado sports wagering options will include professional and collegiate teams, including those located in the state.
Regarding this, House Majority Leader and bill sponsor Alec Garnett said, “Coloradans should have the option of betting on the Nuggets or Broncos.” Wagering on high school sports or events and e-sports, however, would be prohibited under HB 1327.
According to how HB 1327 is set up, taxes on sports gambling operations would go toward specific public purposes such as the state’s water plan which will be funded through a newly created fund – the water plan implementation cash fund. Hopefully, Coloradans pass the measure after many months of legislative back and forth regarding Colorado’s potential for domestic wagering.