DENVER — Gambling and Colorado's water. What do the two have to do with each other?
They're a bit of an odd couple.
Like, RTD and a train to Longmont.
Or Kyle Clark and muted jackets.
Gambling and Colorado's water are tied together through Proposition DD, which appears on the November 2019 ballot.
A "YES" vote on DD legalizes betting on sports in Colorado. It also would tax the casino and/or operators of the sports apps that would accept the bets. The state would keep 10 percent of the revenues made from the casinos/sports app operators. The money would fund the Colorado Water Plan, the regulation of sports betting and gambling addiction services.
A "NO" vote on DD keeps sports betting illegal in Colorado and would not initiate this new sports betting tax.
Colorado can legalize sports betting because of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in May 2018. However, Colorado law explicitly makes sports betting illegal. DD attempts to make it legal, while at the same time initiating a new voter-approved tax on the revenues from sports betting, to be spent on Colorado's Water Plan.
WHAT IS THE COLORADO WATER PLAN?
The Colorado Water Plan consists of:
- Supply and Demand
- Land Use
- Watershed health, environment and recreation
- Education, outreach and innovation
There are three ads airing in support of Proposition DD.
Two make similar claims:
CLAIM: "Only casinos pay the tax."
CLAIM: "Only casinos pay to fund Colorado's water plan."
VERDICT: True, casinos will pay, but it will be paid with the money you pay the casinos when you lose when a bet.
CLAIM: "(Proposition) DD will tax casino sports betting to fund Colorado's Water Plan." *On screen, the claim shows "$29 million per year tax on casino sports betting."
VERDICT: True, the tax will fund Colorado's water plan, but not a guaranteed $29 million per year. In fact, the state's Blue Book states "about $16 million."
The most that the state would be allowed to keep each year is $29 million. Even the Blue Book, which helps guide voters through their statewide ballot provides more accurate information:
"Based on information from other states’ sports betting markets, about $16 million in tax revenue, on average, is expected to be collected annually over the first five years."
WHO'S FUNDING THE ADS AND SUPPORT OF PROP DD?
Don’t "Double Down" on water and environmental groups. Put all your money on the gaming industry.
Through Oct. 9, "Yes on Proposition DD" had received $1,263,003.33, according to the state's campaign contribution tracking website. Of that, 98% had been contributed by the gaming industry or sports gaming apps.
- $250,000: FanDuel
- $250,000: DraftKings
- $250,000: Twin River Hotel & Casino in Rhode Island
- $150,520: Colorado Gaming Association
- $75,260: Isle Casino Hotel Black Hawk
- $50,170: Ameristar Casino Black Hawk
- $50,170: Monarch Casino Black Hawk
Of the non-gaming contributions:
- $10,000: Colorado Farm Bureau
- $10,000: Environmental Defense Action Fund
Voters statewide are being asked to approve DD and legalize sports betting, however that vote won't allow voting in person at Colorado casinos.
Voters who live in Central City, Black Hawk and Cripple Creek are being asked an additional separate question that seeks permission for casinos to offer in-person sports betting. DD only legalizes the betting through sports apps or online.
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