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Colorado lawmakers taking a punt on legalised sports betting

US State Gambling Regulators Forum
TWO Colorado lawmakers, Republican Cole Wist and Democrat Alec Garnett, are hellbent on getting sports betting legalised across the state.

The move has been shot down in eight previous attempts by politicians in the state, but the two outspoken figures believe they can persuade two-thirds of the house and a majority of voters to legalise sports wagering.

For Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton, this is certainly possible and is already planning on how tax revenue from sports betting would be used.

Colorado has been very cautious when it comes to issues relating to gambling as voters have crushed attempts to get it expanded throughout the state on eight occasions.

“It seems to me it’s a no-brainer,” Wist said.

“We should have the conversation to see if this is something we as a state want to do.”

The two legislators started their campaign to allow sports betting in Colorado in May after the US Supreme Courts overruled the PASPA law banning the activity.

Until 1991, casino gambling was not allowed in Colorado, and even with that, it is limited to towns like Cripple Creek, Black Hawk, and Central City. In 2014, a proposed amendment to get gambling extending to some racetracks was shot down with 70 per cent of voters against it.

But Wist and Garnett succeeded in getting fantasy sports legalised in 2016.

With sports betting, they can just convince their colleagues into accepting it, without necessarily turning to voters.

In an opinion issued last August, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman stated Colorado’s constitutional restrictions on gambling does not apply to sports betting. She said lawmakers only have to change Title 18 in the Colorado Revised Statutes, which defines sports gambling as an illegal activity.

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