Will Voters See a 2024 Ballot With Colorado Online Casino Gambling?

Centennial State casino owners and existing sports betting operators are in talks to advance Colorado online casino gambling legalization efforts. That’s what Colorado Budget Director Mark Ferrandino told Bonus on Sept. 15.

If the talks result in any proposed legislation, voters must decide on iGaming’s legality. That’s because legal Colorado online casino gambling would involve taxing operators. Electors among the state’s nearly 6 million residents choose whether there will be new taxes.

For instance, Colorado voters approved Proposition DD, legalizing sports betting and taxing sportsbook operators in November 2019. Centennial State sportsbooks launched in May 2020.

Ferrandino told Bonus in a Sept. 15 email:

I have not been part of conversations. I was just referencing I know people are talking/interested in it.

The director of Colorado’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting first mentioned the iGaming legalization talks in July 2023. At the time, he was the executive director of the Colorado Department of Revenue, speaking to members of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS). The NCLGS Summer Meeting happened in Denver.

July was also the month the state’s no-frills $38.5 billion Fiscal Year 2023-2024 budget took effect, reported The Colorado Sun.

Colorado Online Casino Gambling First Beyond EST?

If Colorado voters are presented with a ballot question and subsequently approve legal online casino gambling, Bonus estimates the state could see $35 million in tax revenue each year. That’s if Colorado taxes iGaming operators at its 10% sports betting rate.

However, other states with legal online casino gambling tend to tax iGaming operators at a higher rate than sportsbooks. Therefore, the Colorado General Assembly may propose legislation showing a higher tax rate for online casino operators.

That means lawmakers must first take up the question.

Bonus asked House Majority Leader Monica Duran if she believed that would happen. However, state Rep. Duran, D-Wheat Ridge, didn’t immediately answer.

Meanwhile, if Colorado lawmakers, then voters, do consider complementing the existing sports betting with online casino gambling as Rhode Island did in 2023, it would become the first state to offer the sites outside of the Eastern Time Zone.

Michigan is the farthest legal online casino state to the West, and West Virginia holds the southernmost honor. Nevada only offers online poker. (Yes, four counties in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula bordering Wisconsin are in the Central Time Zone.)

The legal iGaming states are below:

Meanwhile, at least one online gambling operator is making no secret about its interest in Colorado. PlayStar Casino is live in New Jersey and partnered last year with GF Gaming in Colorado.

About the Author

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is Lead Writer at Bonus, concentrating on online casino coverage. She specializes in breaking news, legislative coverage, and gambling marketing strategy overviews. To reach Heather with a news tip, email [email protected].
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