In 2018, the United States supreme court held in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, 138 S. Ct. 1461, that a federal law prohibiting states from authorizing sports betting violated the tenth amendment of the United States constitution. States may now authorize sports betting.
The bill decriminalizes sports betting in Colorado, effective May 1, 2020, under the following conditions:
- The collection of a tax on the net proceeds of sports betting must be approved by the registered electors of Colorado at the November 2019 general election;
- Sports betting will be regulated by the department of revenue, subject to supervision by the existing limited gaming control commission;
- A limited number of licenses will be issued. Persons or entities currently licensed to conduct limited gaming (i.e., the owners of casinos in Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek) are the only persons or entities eligible to hold a "master license" to conduct sports betting upon paying a license fee and submitting to background checks. A master license entitles the licensee to contract with a licensed "sports betting operator" or a licensed "internet sports betting operator", or both, for the operation of sports betting.
- The conduct of sports betting in Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek is further conditioned on approval by the voters of each city in a local election to be held concurrently with the statewide election in November 2019; and
- The state will collect a tax of 10% on the net proceeds of sports betting activity to fund implementation of the state water plan and other public purposes. Of the total amount of tax collected, after first repaying the general fund appropriation for startup and initial operating costs, 6% is set aside annually to compensate the beneficiaries of revenues generated by limited gaming and other wagering activities for any losses attributable to competition from sports betting.
The bill appropriates $1,739,015 to the department of revenue for startup and initial operating costs in the 2019-20 state fiscal year.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)