Communities near Colorado casinos could get $5.1M back |

Communities near Colorado casinos could get $5.1M back

DENVER – Communities surrounding Colorado’s casino towns could get $5.1 million in state funding restored this year under changes made to plan to balance the state budget.

The deal was worked out on the fly on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday and still has a way to go.

The state normally uses a portion of gaming revenue to give grants to communities near gambling towns who deal with impacts like extra traffic and increased crime. The state planned to distribute $5.1 million this year but Gov. Bill Ritter froze the money to help plug a growing shortfall in the budget.

Under the deal, communities would get that money this year but would lose $2 million of next year’s funds. That $2 million would help undo a $5 million cut to administration of the state’s unemployment fund.

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