Colorado’s casino industry is one of the best in the country. There are a huge number of popular land-based casinos in this state, all of which are confined to just three cities. This week, a major Las Vegas-based casino company announced that it had sold three popular Colorado casinos.
Affinity Gaming has been focused on selling properties for the past few months. It appears the company is prepared to loosen its hold on the Colorado casino market. Today, we’re going to look at some of the updates to Colorado’s casino laws and talk about why these three casinos were recently sold.
Let’s get into it!
Colorado’s Casino Industry Continues to Grow
Colorado is thought of as one of the most liberal states in the country. Lawmakers here have been hugely progressive and recently have begun to expand the state’s gambling industry. For a while, however, this state was largely against most forms of gambling.
The first casino opened in Colorado back in 1822. At this time, gambling regulation was non-existent. Throughout the 1800s, a huge number of casinos began popping up around the state and Colorado became known as a popular gambling destination.
Eventually, lawmakers here connected gambling to crime and worked to ban this industry. Casino gambling was eventually banned and it was decades before any legal forms of gambling became available again. In 1988, after the Supreme Court passed the Indian Gambling Regulatory Act, lawmakers realized it was time to rethink their approach.
In 1991, casino gambling was legalized in this state once again. Interestingly, these casinos were only legalized to operate in three states. Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek are the only parts of Colorado where casinos can be opened.
Gambling fans here are lucky. There are many popular Colorado casinos that both locals and tourists enjoy. A huge number of great online casinos in CO are also currently available. This week, three of these venues were officially put up for sale.
Twin River Acquires Three Popular Colorado Casinos
Affinity Gaming is a major casino operator based in Las Vegas, Nevada. The company owns several major venues across the country, including several in Colorado. Around a year ago, the company announced that it was selling three venues to Twin River, a casino company based in Rhode Island.
This week, the sale of these properties officially concluded. Twin River now owns the Golden Gates, Golden Gulch and Mardi Gras casino properties in the city of Black Hawk. It all comes as part of a broader strategy for Twin River to diversity its portfolio.
As we already mentioned, the company owns several properties in Rhode Island. It’s also expanded into Delaware and is focused on expanding west. The acquisition of these three popular Colorado casinos is one of the biggest moves for this company in their history.
It’s also a great move for Affinity Gaming, which is also focused on expansion. Unlike Twin River, however, the Vegas-based company is focused primarily on properties in Iowa and Missouri.
With the acquisition of these properties, Twin River also receives the right to offer sports betting options in this state. The company issued a statement to the media this week.
“As previously announced, with the completion of this acquisition, Twin River has also acquired the right to three sports gaming licenses in Colorado in connection with the passage of Proposition DD on November 5, 2019,” an official within Twin River said.
Is Colorado bracing to become the next sports betting capital of the US?
Colorado’s Sports Betting Market Will Be Massive
In May of 2018, the US Supreme Court struck down PASPA. This decision immediately gave every state in the country the ability to legalize sports gambling. Within just a couple of weeks, several states including New Jersey passed laws to make sports betting legal.
Colorado took its time with this industry. Finally, in November of 2019, lawmakers here officially approved a measure to make sports gambling legal and regulated. Both land-based and online gambling will become available here. No sports betting operators will begin operating here until May of 2020.
Some of the biggest sports betting companies in the country have expressed a desire to break into this state. Colorado is known for having a large and passionate sports fan base. The state is likely to earn millions of dollars via taxes every year from this industry.
All of the most popular Colorado casinos are set to offer sports betting options. This includes the three properties that Twin River has just acquired.
It’s an exciting time for gambling fans in this state. Stay tuned for more casino news here over the next few months!