The Colorado Legislature gave final approval to House Bill 1327 on May 3, sending it to the 2019 ballot for voters to decide.
House Bill 1327 would authorize sports betting in Colorado and authorize the legislature to create a 10 percent tax on sports betting proceeds to be levied on those who conduct sports betting operations. This measure requires voter approval under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR). According to the fiscal impact statement for the measure, revenue from the 10 percent tax on sports betting proceeds is expected to generate revenue for the state of around $10 million for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020-21 and is expected to grow to between $13.5 to 15.2 million for FY 2021-22.
HB 1327 was introduced in the House on April 18, 2019. It passed in the House in a vote of 58-6 on April 24, 2019. The bill passed in the Senate by a vote of 27-8 on May 3, 2019.
Revenue generated from the tax on sports betting would be used to fund expenses related to the administration and regulation of sports betting in Colorado and to fund the Water Plan Implementation Cash Fund. Additionally, under the measure, $130,000 would be transferred per year to the Department of Human Services Office of Behavioral Health to be used for operating a gambler’s crisis hotline (to be operated by Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners) and to fund prevention, education, and treatment of gambling disorders.
Seven states have active sports betting industries: Delaware, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. Voters in Arkansas approved legalizing sports betting through Issue 4 in 2018. In many other states, bills to legalize sports betting have been introduced.
Also on Colorado’s 2019 ballot is a legislatively referred measure that would allow the state to retain excess revenue it is currently required to refund under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) to be used for education. A third measure authorizing transportation bonds was certified for the 2019 ballot but was moved by the legislature to the 2020 ballot.
So far, six statewide ballot measures have been certified for the 2019 ballot in four states.
To see what else is on Colorado’s 2019 ballot, click here: https://ballotpedia.org/Colorado_2019_ballot_measures