GILPIN COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado voters have given their approval to Amendment 77 which lifts the state limit on wagers at casinos and allows the introduction of new games. Going back, casino gambling was approved for three mountain towns — Central City, Black Hawk and Cripple Creek –in 1990.
Part of the money to go toward preservation of historic sites in these towns. Black Hawk now looks like a little Las Vegas.
Rich Rodriguez, a store clerk in Central City, agrees with that assessment.
“You know the big marquees with the big flashing lights that’s not keeping the historical integrity at all.”
But gambling has been expanding, and now a move beyond the spinning roulette wheels and table games with their $100 maximums and the ringing slot machines.
David Farahi is Chief Operating Officer of Monarch Casino. He says each city council will decide the games and limits.
“To increase the kind of fun people can have property because hopefully limits can go up and we can add new games has got us excited,” he told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger
The fact is most people who visit Colorado’s gambling towns like Central City are not big spenders. Dawn Van Hesteren considers herself a small time gambler.
“The vote doesn’t affect me much because I make minimum wage. It’s a little bit of a treat. I put a little bit aside and when it’s gone, it’s gone,” she said.
Joe Swoboda says he is not there to make big money.
“If you are up here to win, you are not going to win.”
There is some civic good. New games and bet maximums will mean more money for community colleges. The city councils in each of the mountain towns involved must give their OKs to the changes in the rules.
They are expected to take effect May 1, 2021.