GILPIN COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Changes to Colorado’s COVID-19 dial framework are giving Blackhawk casinos a double dose of good luck — allowing them to increase capacity just in time for one of the biggest sports betting days of the year.
Gov. Jared Polis and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced changes to the metrics that determine dial level this week.
Under the new guidelines, Gilpin County will move from Level Orange to Level Blue. Casinos in Blackhawk can now operate at 50% capacity or 175 people max — an increase from 25% capacity. Last call will also move from 10 p.m. to midnight but table games are still not authorized to operate.
“We’re very excited that Gilpin County moved to the blue phase on the COVID dial mandated by the state. That is fantastic news and it really speaks to the commitment in our industry for cleanliness, distancing, wearing masks,” said Craig Pleva, General Manager at Monarch Casino.
The changes went into effect Saturday morning, in time to welcome more people in for Super Bowl Sunday. This year marks the first Super Bowl with legalized sports betting in Colorado.
“There really is no preparing for the Super Bowl. It really is like a gambler’s paradise,” said Pleva.
He says legalized sports gambling gave casinos a small boost during a year when the industry took a serious hit.
“Sports betting really opened up new markets for us for guests that were not coming to Blackhawk previously or maybe weren’t familiar with our brand,” said Pleva.
The sportsbook at the Monarch is still under construction, but Pleva says they expect a busy weekend with people using their app and kiosks on the casino floor to place bets on the big game.
“Seeing progress through this process is a huge deal. Every little step we get to take to get back to the type of business that we’re used to,” said Pleva.