Starting Saturday, May 1st, 2021, casinos in Colorado lifted the long-standing $100 betting limits and introduced a few more games to offer casino players a niftier gambling slate. The new changes are a much welcome move for The Centennial State’s gaming scene, especially after the crushing aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic. As a result, new business prospects in the gaming industry have already started opening up for the state to take advantage of the expanded gaming.
Taking a trip down memory lane, Colorado first legalized casino gaming in October 1991 through Amendment 4. However, the gambling legislation was accompanied by some rather restrictive measures in a bid to protect locals from problem gambling. One of those not-so-gambler-friendly restrictions was a $5 maximum bet limit, with gambling only allowed between 8:00 am and 2:00 am. And for a start, poker, blackjack, and slot machine games were the only forms of gambling permitted in the state.
Nearly two decades later, in 2008, the gambling law was revised by passing Amendment 50 to bump up the maximum bet limit to $100. Crap and roulette were also added to the slate of permitted slate of games in the state, and further, casinos were allowed to start operating round the clock. But then, even with the boosted $100 cap, it was still pretty unfriendly to poker players as such a limit never gave any room for truly enjoying high-stakes games. And on top of that, Coloradoans also wanted to have the liberty of playing more games at state casinos.
Come November 2020, residents of The Centennial State overwhelmingly passed Amendment 77 through a ballot initiative to give lawmakers the mandate to adjust the $100 cap among other changes to the state gambling law. Within weeks of the ballot decision, the city councils of Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek voted to eliminate the limits in favor of unlimited Las Vegas-style gambling.
What Changes Has Amendment 77 Brought to the Table?
Thanks to Amendment 77, besides doing away with the $100 limit, lawmakers drew new rules to squeeze in a couple more games into the offering. As a result, Coloradoans can now place wagers on new forms of war, poker, and blackjack, as well as Five Treasures, Big Siz Wheel, pai gow tiles, and keno, plus classic Baccarat alongside several of its(baccarat) variants. With the lifted limits and increased range of gambling games in Colorado casinos, South Dakota will now be left behind as the only gambling-legal state that still has betting limits.
David Spellman, the Mayor of Black Hawk City, discussed the new changes in an interview with a local daily, saying:
“Lifting the betting limits and adding the full complement of casino games brings a whole new dynamic to the City of Black Hawk. We anticipate tapping into a new market as our casino’s entertainment offerings increase and the excitement builds. Besides growing our Denver metro area customers, Black Hawk will become a greater regional draw for visitors.”
Bruce Brown, The Cripple Creek mayor, also shared a few sentiments about the new gaming regulations in correspondence with a local media house as follows:
“We appreciate that Coloradans supported our town’s right to determine our future so we can improve economic opportunities for the people who work and live here. Things won’t change overnight, but I believe this will help us get back on our feet.”
These changes come at a time when the Centennial State, like many other states, is starting to recover from the impact of the pandemic. In March, Colorado casinos recorded their best ever performance in close to two years after bringing in a $75.7 million haul. The last time the state bagged that much revenue was in August 2019, when state casinos generated a $76.1 million win. Further, March’s impressive performance was the first time that casinos in The Centennial State recorded a positive revenue movement since February 2020, when the pandemic floodgates opened.