Colorado Lawmakers Focus on Redefining Gambling Legislation

Lt. Governor Donna Lynne

Gambling is now better defined in the state of Colorado as a bill was recently by the Lt. Governor Donna Lynne.

Colorado apparently had some work to do involving their gambling industry. Just recently, the state expanded their position on gambling as a drafted bill was recently signed off on by the Lt. Governor Donna Lynne. A gambling bill was created by Representatives KC Becker and Paul Lundeen as well as Senator Bob Gardner, to clarify the regulations in the state involving simulated gaming activity. The bill helps to better define the terms ‘gambling’, ‘simulated gambling device’ and ‘prize’.

HB-18 1234

Lt. Governor Donna LynneLt. Governor Donna Lynne signed off on the bill this week, which categorizes a simulated gambling device as one that combines the elements of chance and skill based on the language of the state constitution. The bill helps to explain that a simulated gambling device is illegal is the player is paid in an indirect manner or in a non-monetary form for using a simulated gambling device. The time of payment, whether it be before or after using the device, is not relevant.

The bill was created and pushed by lawmakers based on a case that took place in the state earlier in the year regarding gambling machines. Back in April, there were three people in Colorado that were arrested for operating an illegal gambling outfit at three locations. The three individuals were charged with 430 counts involving the illegal operation of a gambling facility.

Bargrat and Tammy Garamov and Eduard Gugulyan were arrested and accused of taking part in professional gambling as well as possessing gambling devices and taking part in fraudulent gaming acts. The three also faced charges for maintaining a gambling facility as well as shipping slot machines and invoicing the units. Each of the accused pled not guilty to the charges based on existing laws.

With the new bill, the Colorado Revised Statute 16-13-303 was changed to see gambling devices classified as a ‘public nuisance’. Such a gambling device can be seized, confiscated or forfeited based on the new law. The bill also includes language that will see personal property seized if gambling machines are found on-site, including currency, vehicles or instruments used to conduct, maintain, aid or abet with any class 1 public nuisance that is subject to forfeit or seizure.

The statute was amended to state that a person is committing an unlawful offering of a simulated gambling device if they were offering, creating contracts for, facilitates or making a simulated gambling device available for members of the public or within a club or organization.

Setting a Foundation

It seems when such issues occur, as the illegal gambling case back in April, lawmakers begin to review gambling regulations and come up with legislation to try and stop any illegal activity. In Colorado, the several charges filed against the three people involving gambling were enough to see legislators make the changes in the hopes of avoiding any issues like this again.

With the new law in place, the state will be better set up to deal with any situations that may arise such as what happened a few months ago with the illegal gambling set up involving the three people who now face serious penalties for their crimes.

It’s interesting to note the legal changes in Colorado. The state has taken a restrictive approach while several other states are opening up their regulations to allow for even more gaming to take place, be it with the lottery, sports betting, poker, online gaming and other categories.