Colorado Said to be Looking into Allowing Online Gambling
In the near-constant chatter about which states might be next to follow in the footsteps of Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey to allow for legalized online poker and other casino games, Colorado is not one that is often mentioned.
That might be changing, however, with the Denver Post reporting that lawmakers and the casino industry drafted online poker legislation during the last term.
Issue stalled in the state capitol
And while the Post noted that the matter of online poker isn’t currently on the front burner for Colorado legislators, the state’s gambling industry is keeping a close eye on developments in other states as well as in their own.
“We had talked very late in last year’s session with some legislators who were interested in pursuing it. We’re still exploring it,” said Lois Rice, who is the executive director of the Colorado Gaming Association.
“This is something we are monitoring very closely. Internet gaming continues to evolve state-by-state, and through ever-changing technology. With respect to Colorado, when there is a piece of legislation to review, we can make decisions based on whether or not participation will be beneficial to the company,” remarked Troy Stremming.
Stremming serves as Pinnacle Entertainment’s executive vice president of government relations. Pinnacle Entertainment is the operator of the Ameristar Casino, the largest casino in the state of Colorado.
Recent New Jersey launch apt to spur action in other states
While states like California, Illinois, and Pennsylvania have long been bandied about as having the potential to legalize some form of Internet betting, industry pundits expect that last month’s successful launch of online wagering in New Jersey will serve as as example to many states looking to follow the Garden State’s lead.
New Jersey, which offers comprehensive online gambling in addition to the game of online poker, commenced its iGaming market in soft play mode on November 21, with the full-scale opening of its six initial gaming sites happening five days later on November 26.
Despite some issues surrounding geolocation verification and depositing troubles centering around certain banks and specific forms of payment, for the most part the start of New Jersey’s online wagering market has been deemed a success. Signups are now said to be nearing the 100,000 mark.
New Jersey is by far the largest such wagering market in the nation. It became the third state to enact online gambling legislation when the state’s newly reelected governor, Republican Chris Christie, signed New Jersey’s iGaming bill into law last February.
Governor Christie, who has long been rumored to be a front runner for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, was persuaded to sign the bill in order to help shore up continual revenue loss in Atlantic City. All online gambling operations are legally tied to land-based casino properties in Atlantic City, which for years has struggled in the face of rising casino competition from neighboring states.