Governor Jared Polis yesterday signed a bipartisan bill that would legalize sports betting in Colorado. The measure now heads to the 2019 ballot for voter approval.
HB19-1327 is sponsored by Majority Leader Alec Garnett, D-Denver.
“Coloradans should have the option of betting on the Nuggets or the Broncos. This new funding will go toward protecting our precious water and we believe this is something everyone can support,” Garnett said in a May 29 news release issued by House Democrats. “I also hope this measure will help stamp out black market sports betting and thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their support.”
HB19-1327 provides a master license to local casinos who can then contract with brick and mortar and/or internet sports betting operators to provide sports betting in Colorado, according to the release. A 10 percent tax on net sports betting proceeds will be placed in a Sports Betting Fund.
According to the release, that fund will go towards the Water Implementation Cash Fund to support Colorado Water Plan projects to keep Colorado’s drinking water safe, farms and ranches thriving, and to keep rivers healthy.
The measure, Proposition DD, will be on the November 2019 ballot. The portion of the bill that Polis signed authorizes casinos to open in-person sports books, and creates the Water Plan Implementation Cash Fund.
The Colorado Water Conservation Board will govern the Water Plan Implementation Cash Fund, according to the release. Some of the eligible projects for these funds are water storage and supply projects, conversation and land use projects, engagement and innovation activities, agricultural projects and environmental and recreation projects.
Organizations in support of the measure include the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, the Colorado Municipal League, the Colorado River District, the Environmental Defense Action Fund, Western Resource Advocates, and Denver Water.