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Colorado sports betting referendum is favored to pass on Election Day


Today is Election Day 2019, and the fate of Colorado sports betting now rests solely in the hands of the state’s registered voters.

But if a recent poll is correct, the odds of Proposition DD passing are Mile High.

The American Politics Research Lab (APRL) at the University of Colorado-Boulder recently released their fourth annual Colorado Political Climate Survey and found that 62% of the 800 registered voters surveyed said they would vote “Yes” on Prop DD, the Legalize Sports Betting with Tax Revenue for Water Projects Measure.

Below is the APRL analysis of the opinion poll, which was conducted between October 23 and November 1.

“We expect Proposition DD—the measure to legalize and tax sports gambling—to win handily. Sixty-two percent of Colorado voters favor the measure, and the proposition garners big majorities among Democrats (71%) and independents (64%) and approaches a majority among Republicans (48%).”

If that holds true, then Colorado is set to become the latest state to legalize sports betting and could launch its first licensed and regulated sportsbook as early as May 2020.

After HB 1327 passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, Gov. Jared Polis signed the Colorado sports betting bill into law on May 29. However, because the measure proposes a new tax, it must receive simple majority approval from voters before it can go in effect under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) Amendment.

Here’s the question that Colorado voters will see on Tuesday’s ballot:

“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?”

In this week’s news recap, we noted how the wording of the question had stirred some controversy since it begins with “Shall state taxes be increased,” which may be an immediate red flag to some voters.

In reality, it’s the state budget that’s being increased to allocate funding for the state’s water plan, which will be generated from the 10% tax rate on sports betting revenue and licensing fees to operate a sportsbook in the state.

To make the referendum more clear to Colorado voters, here’s exactly what a “Yes” and “No” vote means, according to Ballotpedia.

  • A yes vote supports the measure to authorize sports betting in Colorado and authorize the legislature to levy a tax of 10% on those conducting sports betting operations and use revenue to fund state water projects.
  • A no vote opposes the measure to authorize sports betting in Colorado and authorize the legislature to levy a tax of 10% on those conducting sports betting operations.

Colorado Prop DD sports betting details

If you live in Colorado and plan to vote on Prop DD, here’s everything you need to know about the referendum and the state’s potential sports betting law should it pass today.

Election Day: Tuesday, November 5

Polls: Open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm Mountain Time

If passed: Legalizes in-person, online, and mobile apps for statewide sports betting

Launch date: May 2020 at the earliest

Minimum betting age: 21 years old

Regulatory body: Colorado Division of Gaming

Tax rate: 10% on sports betting revenue

Licensing fees: TBD, must be renewed every two years

Tax distribution: Majority to fund the Colorado Water Plan, $130,000 goes to the Department of Human Services to fund problem gambling hotline and resources

Estimated revenue: 2021 – first full fiscal year; $8.9 million-$10.4 million in tax revenue from the projected $1.3 billion-$1.5 billion handle

Types of licenses: Master license (covers all offerings), sports betting operator license, internet sports betting operator license

Eligible for license: Colorado’s 33 casinos

Sports allowed: Professional and collegiate sports

Sports prohibited: High school sports, esports

Bet types allowed: Single-game bets, teasers, parlays, over/under, money line, pools, exchange wagering, in-game wagering, in-play bets, prop bets, straight bets

Bet types prohibited: Prop bets on collegiate sporting events

Banned from betting: Anyone with a conflict of interest relating to the sporting event, any governing body, or sportsbook

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