CRIPPLE CREEK, Colo. — The City of Cripple Creek ballot question 2A is contingent on whether the state-wide Amendment 77 passes.
Amendment 77 would allow local voters only in Colorado cities with legal gambling — Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek — to approve higher betting limits.
Right now, the state caps individual wagers at $100. Colorado casinos are also restricted to what type of games they can offer. Any change requires a statewide vote as well as a community vote which is where 2A comes in.
2A is asking voters to approve Cripple Creek to replace the single bet limit of up to $100 with unlimited single bets.
Each city — Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek — also have to pass their own issues.
There is a possibility that Amendment 77 could pass on the state level and 2A could NOT pass on the community level. Ray White, Interim City Administrator, said that would be an extreme disadvantage.
“That would absolutely be the worst-case scenario, for us. If the other two communities, Black Hawk and Central City, passed their version of 2A, and for some reason, Cripple Creek did not pass it, it would give those two communities a tremendous edge in capturing the gaming market,” White said. “It would pretty much be disastrous. I don’t think that would be an overstatement.”
The City of Cripple Creek Marketing and Events Manager Jeff Mosher is hoping it passes to allow tourism to grow, attract tourists with deeper pockets, and recover from the COVID shutdown that still is impacting casino revenues right now.
“That casino industry has not Bounced back like we though it would as far as revenue streams for the communities,” Mosher said. “I think its important for the citizen to understand it does have a bigger impact on the small businesses in town and attracting people to our communities that are currently going out of state.”
With higher limits, the city is hoping to attract more casino owners as well.
“We do anticipate if it passes there will be considerable demand, and that demand is for hotel rooms, it’s for restaurants, attractions, entertainment, your talking about higher rollers people who want to spend more money,” Mosher said.
Though, the issues means local control, White is hoping it helps out the neighbors as well.
“Any increased tax burden would be on the casinos and that would be based on revenues, so that very positive,” White said. “Obviously any increase in tourism in our area, would increase tourism in Fremont county pueblo etc., so regionally we see it as something that has a lot of potential benefit.”
If it passes it would take effect on May 1, 2021.
Right now there is no registered group in opposition to this issue, but the blue book says removing bet limits may increase the prevalence and severity of gambling problems and addiction.