Colorado Legalizes Wide-Ranging Sports Betting In Narrow Vote
Colorado has become the 19th state to "legalize sports gambling" after voters "narrowly passed a ballot measure" on the issue, according to James Anderson of the AP. The measure allows the parent companies of Colorado's 33 casinos to offer "onsite and online betting on professional, collegiate, motor and Olympic sports starting in May." The ballot question had "little opposition, but the election results were so close that the outcome could only be determined" yesterday as the "final votes were tallied." With "nearly 90% of the vote in, the yes vote was leading by more than 23,000 votes, 50.8% to 49.2%." The proposal "calls for a 10% flat tax on net sports betting proceeds, which is estimated to total" about $11M in the next fiscal year, which starts July 1. State lawmakers "passed a bill earlier this year allowing the Colorado Water Conservation Board to use that money to award grants to help meet the state's water plan." Channeling the sports betting tax revenue to the water plan "won the support of environmentalists and farming groups, but the money generated is expected to fall well short of the water plan's estimated price tag" of $100M a year (AP, 11/6). In Colorado, Jesse Paul notes most of the state's 64 counties "rejected the measure, but there was enough support in more populous areas" to "push the question into the 'yes' column" (COLORADO SUN, 11/7).