In the wake of the UIGEA, the sports betting industry plummeted in the United States. Americans, however found ways to bet at offshore operators, which only led to lost revenue and unnecessary risks for punters. This unfortunate state of affairs prompted lawmakers from many states to contemplate the possibility of legalizing sports betting. Colorado is one of the more liberal states and not surprisingly, one of the places where punters can bet on sports in complete accord with the law.
A rocky path to legalization
Colorado lawmakers started to work on legalizing online betting last year, in the wake of PASPA’s demise. The result was a bill that legalized sports betting at both land-based operators and over the Internet, which represented of major step forward. Unlike other legal initiatives, this one enjoyed the support of both parties and was confirmed as law by government Jared Polis. The majority of lawmakers agreed that taxing the industry was a wiser alternative than trying to suppress unlawful sports betting.
Once the bill passed in 2019, the legal framework was in place to provide local players with a secure and predictable betting environment. Those who proposed the bill highlighted the fact that the sports betting tax revenue would be used to fund the Colorado Water Conservation Board. Since the bill passed, there were initiatives from people unhappy with the outcome to limit the maximum amount that could be wagered. A threshold of $100 was suggested, similar to what the state has for casino games.
Fantasy e-sports to the rescue
The bill legalizing sports betting in Colorado also had to be voted in a general election which was held at the end of 2019. Surprisingly enough, fantasy sports specialists FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook were among the strongest supporters. They spent a lot of money to inform the audience and provide them with the information needed to make an educated decision. With so much support behind the bill, it came as no surprise that it was in the end voted by both lawmakers and the public.
Sports betting fans from Colorado can consider themselves lucky because in spite of the overwhelming support, the bill passed by the narrowest of margins. In excess of 1 million people voted, but the difference was rather negligible, with less than 50,000 votes deciding the outcome. It looked like the densely populated areas were the ones to determine the outcome, as their residents voted in favor of the bill. In this regard, sports betting fans from Colorado should be grateful to the residents of Denver.
Today, those who live in Colorado can legally bet on sports without having to worry about committing any crime. A few other states have passed similar bills and there is a trend suggesting that even more are ready to jump on the bandwagon. It will take a while until sports betting will be legal nationwide, but with each passing month, new states could join this movement.