Prop. DD explained: What sports gambling would mean in Colorado and how much (or little) it would generate
Voters will be asked in November to make Colorado the 20th state with legal sports betting — and, policymakers hope, generate a small pot of new tax revenue in the process.
It comes in the wake of a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down a federal prohibition of sports gambling in most of the country, setting off a wave of state legalization. If approved, it would mark the first major expansion of gambling in Colorado since 2008, and only the second authorized by voters since gaming was legalized in 1991.
The stakes for Proposition DD aren’t particularly high, from a revenue standpoint. Although the measure asks voters to approve up to $29 million annually in new taxes, the voter-information guide known as the blue book only projects about $16 million in average annual revenue in the first five years. A separate fiscal analysis by legislative forecasters suggests it could take years to reach even that level, projecting between $6 million and $15 million annually in the first three years.
But the Nov. 5 ballot measure represents a major policy change, nonetheless. It would decriminalize, tax and regulate an activity that’s long been occurring on the black market. The gaming industry estimates that Americans spend as much as $150 billion a year placing illegal sports bets, often through offshore websites.
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