State mulling over rules for sports betting

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CRIPPLE CREEK, Colo. — There are big changes in store for Colorado’s casino towns as the state prepares to legalize sports betting.

“We are working fast and furious because May 1st will be here before you know it,” General Manager of Bronco Billy’s Casino and Hotel Baxter Lee said.

Lee is one of several people on several different committees considering how the Colorado Department of Revenue and Division of Gaming will regulate sports betting.

“Everything from how you register, how taxes are paid, what’s legal as far as what you can bet on from a sports standpoint,” Lee said.

What is known are the licenses. The bill to put sports betting on the ballot did not allow for any new entities into the gambling industry to conduct sports gambling. “Master” licenses will only be given to entities already established in the gaming industry.

Those businesses will also need to get a license to conduct sports betting on the casino floor. The bill also allows for internet sports gambling, like on smartphones, as well provided operators get that specific license as well.

Bronco Billy’s is well on its way for all three licenses and Lee doesn’t believe the mobile aspect makes things too easy for potential sports gamblers.

“If you think about it, sports betting has been around a long time, right? Not the legal sports betting but people have been betting from their la-z-boys for a long time,” Lee said. “Now, we’re making it legal and we’re creating tax revenue for the state to be able to do things for Colorado water and also problem gambling.”

The 10 percent tax on casino earnings will be spent on a number of things, namely the Colorado Water Conservation Board as well as gambling addiction services. Sports betting will be allowed as of May 1, 2020.

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