Higher Betting Limits and New Games Coming to Colorado Casinos on May 1

  • Casino facilities in the state will no longer have to adhere to the current $100 betting cap
  • Baccarat and keno are the most notable casino games to be newly allowed starting tomorrow
  • Investment has been increasing in the state’s three casino towns on the back of these changes
  • New bet limits and games are possible thanks to the passage of Amendment 77 in November
  • Colorado casinos are recovering after pandemic closures, reporting strong March revenue figures
poker chips and hundred-dollar bills on green poker table
Casinos in Colorado can remove $100 betting limits as well as offer new types of games starting this Saturday. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Opening up new opportunities

Casinos in Colorado will no longer need to adhere to the existing $100 betting cap and can also offer new types of games starting May 1. Individual casinos will be able to set their own maximum bet limits.

higher bet sizes will likely be allowed for certain customers, potentially reaching $2,500

Most of the state’s casinos reportedly will allow between $500 and $1,000 per bet. However, some Cripple Creek casino managers noted that even higher bet sizes will likely be allowed for certain customers, potentially reaching $2,500 per wager.

The new game offerings will be a mix between variants of currently allowable types and others that were previously not an option. The new variants mainly cover different types of poker and blackjack. Among the newly permissible game types are baccarat, Five Treasures, Big Six Wheel, pai gow tiles, and keno. Casinos expect baccarat in particular to be a major attraction.

Not all operators are planning to roll out these new games on their casino floors straight away.

Hopes for the future

As a result of the incoming changes, each of the three casino towns in the state has been seeing increasing levels of investment. Efforts include casino expansions, new hotels, and other types of amenities that aim to attract additional gamblers and high spenders to the area. The hope is that people will be less likely to fly to the likes of Las Vegas to gamble now that the $100 max bet is no longer in place in Colorado.

hope is that people will be less likely to fly to the likes of Las Vegas to gamble

Casinos in Cripple Creek are hoping for big crowds this weekend with the further rolling back of pandemic restrictions, the good weather forecast, and higher betting limits. While masks and social distancing are still necessary at casinos, many other measures have been easing.

Now, certain gambling facilities are struggling to find new table game staff. This could lead to delays in the rollout of new games and higher limits at certain casinos. Higher limits on slot machines will still need a few days, or even a week, to come into effect as the casinos have to install new software. The Colorado Division of Gaming will have to approve these changes after they are made.

On the back of accepting bigger bet sizes, casinos will be beefing up security as they will have more cash on their premises.

The basis for these changes

Higher limits and new games at Colorado casinos became possible after a public vote last November approved Amendment 77. The measure gave the state’s casino towns of Cripple Creek, Central City, and Black Hawk the ability to make changes to existing betting limits, as opposed to state law deciding them. It also allowed the introduction of new types of games, with the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission approving this list.

Following the passage of Amendment 77 in the Colorado legislature, residents in the three towns voted in favor of removing the $100 max bet size. The respective city councils supported this stance. In December, Central City and Black Hawk city councils officially got rid of the old limits and the Cripple Creek City Council did the same in January.

This is not the first time that voters were in favor of raising the maximum bet size at Colorado casinos. In 2008, a measure got voter approval to increase the $5 max bet to $100. Roulette and craps also became allowable, while casinos were able to start operating 24/7. The original $5 maximum bet came into place when gambling became legal in the three mountain towns in October 1991.

Over the years, Colorado casinos have generated more than $18bn in revenue.

Post-pandemic recovery

Colorado casinos will welcome the higher betting limits, especially as the gambling sector attempts to recover from COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns. Gaming facilities in the state had to close from mid-March to mid-June 2020. Upon reopening, they had to operate at limited capacity with extensive safety protocols in place.

strongest month in some time with revenue totaling $75.7m

It appears that the state’s casinos are beginning to bounce back. In March, they had their strongest month in some time with revenue totaling $75.7m, the highest it has been since August 2019.

The rollout of legal sports betting almost one year ago has also been of benefit to the state. The activity charges a 10% tax rate on net sports betting proceeds, and most of the resulting money goes towards improving the state’s water infrastructure. In March this year, total gross gaming revenue for Colorado sportsbooks was $20.4m, while net sports betting proceeds amounted to $10.6m.

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