Colorado’s Proposed Initiative to Remove Casino Betting Limits

People's Hands Playing PokerCurrently, gamblers in Colorado aren’t allowed to wager more than $100 on a single bet when it comes to trying their hand at blackjack, poker, craps and other games. While this is higher than the limit state voter’s initially approved for back in 1990, a mere $5, it’s been years since the limit has increased.

Voted bet to increase the single bet limit to $100, but there hasn’t been progression on the amount since then. In fact, Colorado is one of only two states in the US that enacts limits on individual bets, the other state being South Dakota. But even South Dakota’s limit is higher, at $1,000 per single bet.

The tides are changing in 2020 though, with a proposal that’s currently being crafted in the state. That proposal would effectively allow Colorado’s three mountain towns, Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek, to remove the betting limit completely.

“These towns have built much of their local economies around hotels, restaurants, tourism and travelers who visit because of gaming. Voters in these communities should be allowed to decide what is best for them and their economy, including whether they want to change betting limits and add new games,” says Bruce Brown, former mayor of Cripple Creek who’s in support of a ballot initiative that would allow that.

Brown is a major proponent of a new ballot initiative that would allow betting limits to change and the addition of new games.

Initiative 157

Both Brown and Bill Cadman, former Colorado Senate president, are pushing to get this initiative, known as Initiative 157, onto Colorado’s ballot in November. If it makes it to the ballot, residents from the three casino towns will have the voice to be able to determine whether the limit will be removed.

It will be quite the road to get Initiative 157 on the November ballot, as it’ll require approximately 125,000 valid signatures submitted by early August. Signatures will also need to be representative of 2% of registered voters in 35 of Colorado’s Senate districts.

Even if that support is gained, 55% of the voters who participate in the 2020 election will still have to approve it. Why? Because the initiative is a direct amendment of the Colorado Constitution. If all goes through, gamers may get to see betting restrictions lifted as early at May 2021.

Mountain Towns Seem in Favor

In regards to lifting the betting limits and adding new games, David Spellman, Black Hawk’s mayor, is all in favor, stating that the cities want to give their players what they want.

“The City of Black Hawk is always in favor of gaming enhancements. As the gaming experience improves, it is more likely the original three host cities will continue to meet the demands of the gaming community.”

Karen Crummy, a spokesperson for the initiative, says it will effectively boost the income of Colorado’s mountain-town casinos.

“If local voters choose to approve new games and betting limits, mountain casinos could attract higher-income Coloradans who would typically travel to other states to gamble, as well as out-of-state, high-stakes bettors visiting Aspen or Vail.”