What’s News: New Sports Betting Reporting Bill Finalized; Waiting Signature From Governor

Photos taken at Las Vegas.

Rick Langenburg

Sports betting is a  bonanza industry, and following an exhaustive bipartisan legislative process, a new reporting procedure will occur, running parallel to the way casino revenue is reported in the main gambling towns.

In an email last week, Teller County Assessor Colt Simmons heavily lauded this effort.

“Folks, by my estimate, over 1,000 hours of legislative work, discussion and coordination has gone into the development of this casino – sports betting assessment /appraisal bill by our outstanding team of 12 folks since March 2020 of last year.   We’ve worked and coordinated with the Colorado Gaming Commission, the Colorado Casino Association, Colorado legislators, numerous public and private stakeholders, the Gilpin and Teller County Boards of Commissioners, and numerous other folks,” said Simmons, in an email.

According to Simmons, the new bill would permit assessors to better and more accurately appraise Colorado casinos based on the new 2020 Colorado Sports Betting Enterprise. In the last 12 months, this industry has generated $2 billion in gross sales, with more than $300 million bet in March.

Simmons has made periodic reports before the commissioners regarding the growth of this industry.

The bets can be placed in designated areas or online apps, established by the casinos in the three gambling towns.  Most casinos do this through a third party.

The big question, though, is how this will impact the values of the casinos, which ultimately will play a role in how much they pay in property taxes.  Simmons did not believe it would have any negative impact. According to the bill summary, a detailed procedure is set up for casinos or taxpayers to contest any increase in values, through sports betting, by submitting certain information.

Unfortunately, the way sports betting was set up in a ballot initiative provided little tax benefits for the actual gaming towns. Leaders in the gaming towns, though, supported the sports betting effort as they believed it could bring an additional clientele to town. Sports betting in Colorado  became a reality, following voter approval in 2019.

The odds are definitely changing in Cripple  Creek. Recently, the prohibition against $100 single-bet limits was lifted, with unlimited gambling now in effect.  Most casinos, though, have set certain limits. This will add a new flavor to table games.

The recent sports betting revenue reporting bill has strong support from both sides of the aisle. One of the main sponsors is local state representative Mark  Baisley, who represents House District 39, and area representative Dennis Hisley.

Simmons believes the bill, referred to as HB21-1292 and passed by all chambers of the state legislature, should get signed by the governor within the next week.