Colorado gaming towns looking to win big through Amendment 77

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BLACK HAWK, Colo. (KDVR) — High rollers, listen up. A gambling measure is on the ballot this year.

Amendment 77 looks at gaming limits for Colorado casinos.

Like many others in 2020, the gaming industry was shuttered for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monarch Casino Chief Operations Officer David Farahi said Amendment 77 would bring in more money for the industry and the state.

“Amendment 77 is really just a local control issue. Let the communities that are most affected by gaming and the gaming industry decide if they want to add new games,” said Farahi.

If Amendment 77 passes, voters in Cripple Creek, Black Hawk and Central City could vote to remove betting limits. Farahi said a ‘yes’ vote would allow Colorado casinos to compete with those in other states.

“Colorado today has the lowest limits in America in terms of bets. There’s only two states that have limits at all: Colorado at 100 [dollars] and South Dakota at 1,000. So, we are well behind the rest of the country. Everyone else is at unlimited and the casino can decide for themselves what they want the bets to be,” said Farahi.

The amendment is one of three ballot measures with no registered opponents but those with concerns about the growing gambling culture in Colorado are advocating for people to vote ‘no.’

“That person that is engaged in gambling — that’s addicted to gambling — brings a whole series of social cost: family breakdown, rise of crime, unemployment, health care issues, all that stuff comes in. These are cost we need to weigh as a community,” said Jeffrey Hunt, the director of the Centennial Institute, a conservative think tank based at Colorado Christian University.

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