The first state to legalize recreational marijuana has now said yes to Proposition DD. According to the Associated Press, Colorado voters in an overwhelming fashion said it’s time to be able to legally place sports bets.
The new law takes effect in May of 2020. Coloradans will have the opportunity to place bets on mobile sports betting apps. They can also go to the three cities and towns that have casinos, in Central City, Black Hawk, and in the old mining town, Cripple Creek.
Casinos started to pop up in Colorado in 1991. However, only three towns have legalized gambling. Denver has legalized bingo halls, and a horse racing track, Arapahoe Race Track.
There are close to 40 casinos state-wide, and recreational pot shops in almost every city and town in Colorado. Winnings from sports betting will be taxed at 10 percent with the proceeds going to the much-needed water plan in the state. The water plan was organized and implemented by former Governor John Hickenlooper.
Supporters of Proposition DD said that anywhere between $5 and $15 million would go towards the water plan in just the first few years of legalized sports bets.
State Democratic lawmaker Alec Garnett heavily rallied for the value in DD and was instrumental in getting it passed. Shortly after the vote was called on Thursday, Garnett thanked the voters of Colorado.
He said he’s so happy that the diverse electorate in the state saw the value in passing DD. They understand how much the Colorado water plan will benefit as a result of legalized sports betting.
Well-known Colorado environmentalist Gary Wockner was extremely opposed to DD passing. He took every opportunity to voice his opposition to it.
Jeff Hunt, the CEO of the Christian Centennial Institute, also was against DD passing. The majority of Hunt’s grounds centered around religion. He said, “sports betting is sinful,” however, Colorado legalized gambling in various forms in 1983. Hunt also claims that sports betting, and all forms of gambling, basically victimize poor people.
Detractors said that the ballot was very confusing, as it started by asking, “If voters were in favor of a $29 million tax increase yearly.” Advocates for the passing of DD spent over $2 million in advertisements in support of DD passing. The money was generated strictly from various gaming interests.
Selling The Proposition
In the months and weeks leading up to the election, Colorado voters were bombarded with “Yes on DD” ads that explained where the tax money would come from. According to Garnett, that tax money would be paid solely by the casinos.
The DD initiative was hotly debated at several town hall meetings. Proposition DD did have bipartisan support and was able to successfully make it onto the November ballot. Garnett is the leader of the majority part of the State House Of Representatives.
Garnett said that for several years, he and others want to rally for DD. However, they made a strategic plan to not really get aggressive with it until after the Supreme Court said that states banning legalized sports betting was unconstitutional in 2018.
Garnett said once the water plan starts to reap the rewards of sports betting, everyone will understand that “it’s for the better of the state.”