Colorado features a wealth of casinos in Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek. Thanks to its combination of casinos and breathtaking scenery, the Centennial State is a hotspot among gamblers.
Up until recently, though, Colorado casinos were always held back by strict betting limits. At one point, gamblers could only place $5 maximum wagers.
Much has changed, however, with voters having abolished wagering limits. Now, Colorado will be on the same footing as many other gaming markets.
With that said, is this state set to become one of the most popular casino destinations in the US? I’ll discuss this matter by diving more into Colorado’s history regarding casino betting limits and what to expect moving forward.
Colorado Casinos Used to Be a Joke
The Centennial State legalized casinos in Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek in 1991. The goal was to revive these once-proud mining towns and bring extra revenue into the state.
Unfortunately, the laws were so restrictive on Colorado casinos that they essentially became a joke. People still showed up to play, but they didn’t enjoy anywhere near the same liberties as in Las Vegas or Atlantic City.
Here’s a look at the previous restrictions:
- No bet could exceed $5.
- Only slot machines, blackjack, and poker were permitted.
- Casinos could only be open from 8:00am to 2:00am.
The last stipulation isn’t overly restrictive. After all, many states feature casinos with limited hours because not every market draws players.
This also kept the potential profits for the casinos low, so they couldn’t offer as many perks and services as casinos in most other states.
Voters Raise Betting Limits and Add More Games
In 2008, Amendment 50 was added to the voting ballot. It proposed to lift the $5 wagering limit to $100 and allow for more games.
In return, casinos pledged to give more tax revenue to the state for community colleges and to the surrounding towns/counties. Thanks to these pledges, Amendment 50 passed fairly easily with a 58.6% vote in favor.
These new measures gave Colorado casinos plenty of freedoms. They could now operate more like legitimate gaming establishments with higher limits and a wider game selection.
The result is that local casinos began drawing many more gamblers than in the past. People were no longer coming to the three mining towns just for scenic hiking trails and skiing in the winter. Some showed up for the gaming alone.
No Betting Limits Are Now in Effect
In April 2021, Colorado voters were again asked to vote on a gambling related amendment. This time, they voted on whether to completely abolish betting limits through Amendment 77.
Just like in 2009, this measure passed and got rid of maximum wagers throughout the state. Casinos now have the ability to decide their own max stakes. A Colorado casino could theoretically accept $10,000 wagers or higher at every table.
However, gaming establishments plan on capping their betting limits to some degree. Most casinos in the state will set table wagering limits at between $500 and $1,000 per round.
They have the option to raise the stakes for high rollers. However, they’ll place self-imposed limits on their tables for the most part.
What Will Higher Gambling Limits Do for Colorado Casinos?
Colorado casinos are already beginning to see the fruits of higher betting limits. They can also look forward to future benefits that will play out over time.
More Investment in the Resorts and Casinos
Amendment 77 just recently passed at the time of this writing. However, it’s already paying off for the Colorado gaming industry.
Corporations are now motivated to pour additional investment money into their hotels and casinos. As a result, Cripple Creek, Central City, and Black Hawk are looking more and more like mini Vegas’ by the day.
Full House Resorts, for example, which owns Bronco Billy’s (Cripple Creek), is building a $180 million resort in Colorado that’ll feature 300 rooms and a luxury casino. It’s just one of several casinos that are spending big on the state’s gaming industry.
Like other gambling havens, Colorado’s casino towns were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. That said, they could use a boost while making up for lost revenue.
This is the highest figure since August 2019, when the casinos generated $76.1 million.
More High Rollers
Most whales choose Las Vegas above any US gambling destination. To a lesser extent, Atlantic City is also popular among big bettors.
Vegas and Atlantic City are high-roller favorites because they offer outstanding amenities and, more importantly, massive stakes. Vegas is especially well known for its stakes, with some casinos allowing up to $100,000 bets or more.
Colorado may not be able to match the $100k wagers—at least not yet anyways. However, its casinos now have the ability to allow much higher bets and attract more whales.
More Tax Revenue
The entire point behind voters approving larger bets and more casino games is to benefit from additional tax revenue. Those living in Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek want more money flowing into their communities and surrounding areas.
Voters are going to get their wish thanks to unlimited maximum wagers. The increased number of high rollers and bigger casino investments will generate extra tax money.
More VIP Rooms
Whales like feeling special when they gamble at a casino. In turn, gambling establishments accommodate this by providing VIP rooms.
Colorado isn’t exactly filled with roped-off gaming areas right now. However, it should feature more exclusive gambling sections within the coming years.
The larger casinos like Ameristar Black Hawk, Century Casino (Central City), and Black Hawk Casino Station might especially want to begin expanding their VIP areas.
One reason why people visit Las Vegas is that they want to feel luxurious. Sin City provides this feeling through a combination of impressive amenities and being the top choice among high rollers.
The extra VIP rooms will also play a role in boosting Colorado’s reputation as a luxurious gaming spot. Even those who don’t bet big will appreciate the feeling they get in this state.
More Comp Options
Comps are one of the driving forces towards high-roller play. Those who bet big don’t just want to be treated like everybody else. Instead, they want to roll up to the casino in a limousine and/or get choice service at a nightclub.
With Colorado set to attract more whales, it’ll need to up its list of comps. That said, you can expect more casinos to be offering the finer things in life.
Limo transportation, or at least some kind of luxury cars, will be a must for the larger casinos. After all, VIPs will want to travel around the state’s gambling towns in style.
Assuming Colorado’s gaming industry grows large enough, it might even draw the kind of whales who like being flown into the state in a private jet.
Colorado May Join the Big Stage of Casino Destinations
The Centennial State has come a long way from the days when it only allowed $5 maximum bets. Now, casinos can theoretically accept $1 million bets or higher.
Most gaming venues won’t be going crazy with the unlimited wagers. They do, however, have the ultimate flexibility with bet sizes now.
The end result is that Colorado should draw more high rollers than ever before. In turn, it’ll become an even bigger gaming hotspot than it already is.
Of course, the impact won’t be as great as when Colorado went from $5 to $100 maximum bets. Lifting the cap even further, though, is definitely having a positive impact on the state’s gaming industry.