DENVER (CBS4) – After the Supreme Court struck down a 1992 law that barred sports gambling nearly everywhere in the country except Nevada, some Colorado lawmakers already have a sports gambling bill in the works for the next legislative session.
Should the bill make it through the legislature, Colorado could have legal sports betting as early as the 2019 Broncos season.
The high court ruled Monday that the ban on sports betting is unconstitutional and said states should decide whether to allow it.
Demand for such a law is high. It’s estimated sports gambling is a $150 billion-a-year industry, with most bets happening offshore.
The NCAA and major sports leagues argue the ruling will put the integrity of the games at risk and they now are asking Congress to step in with nationwide regulations.
Colorado state Rep.s Alec Garnett, a Democrat from Denver, and Cole Wist, a Republican from Centennial, are pursuing a bill that would both authorize and regulate a sports gambling industry here. Two years ago the two lawmakers carried a bill to regulate fantasy sports gambling in Colorado and they plan to shape this bill in a similar manner.
“Walking down the street and someone wants to bid on the Broncos winning the Super Bowl? They shouldn’t have to fly to Las Vegas to do it,” Garnett said.
Wist said their goal is to “make sure that we have folks conducting business in our state that are reputable so that consumers are protected but a light amount of regulation so that we’re not overly restricting the activity.”
Garnett and Wist’s bill would mean you could make sports bets online, but you would have to physically be in the state to make them.
“If we want to generate a minimal amount of tax revenue to help meet the needs of our citizens this is not a terrible way to do it,” Garnett said. “We have lottery in every gas station in the entire state and that requires no skill whatsoever.”
Garnett and Wist’s bill would also likely disallow betting on college sports.