Our View: Proposition DD is a safe bet for Colorado | VailDaily.com

Our View: Proposition DD is a safe bet for Colorado

There are two state measures on this year’s ballot and Proposition DD is unquestionably the least controversial and least complicated of the pair. It asks voters this basic question: Should sports betting be legalized and taxed with the majority of the proceeds going to fund state water projects?

In our view, the answer to that question is a definitive yes.

You don’t have to sell the importance of water to Coloradans. Locally in Eagle County, and around the state, it’s clear just how critical water is to our future and how important it is to protect our limited water resources as our population surges. 

Here’s a sobering statistic: Colorado’s population, which is estimated to be just under 6 million according to the most recent census data, is expected to reach 8 million by 2050. How are we going to manage all that growth and provide enough water to our state’s farmers?

Proposition DD is a step in the right direction to figuring out the answer to that question.

No, it won’t fund the state water plan in its entirety, and, yes, it may contribute to gambling addiction in casinos as sports betting comes online. 

The latter is a legitimate concern brought forth by opponents of the measure, who claim it is irresponsible to puts no limits on the amount a person can bet on sports and that, of the millions in potential revenue, only $130,000 each year is dedicated to gambling addiction services.

But what’s the alternative? Sports betting is already big business in Colorado, regardless of whether it takes place in a casino in Black Hawk or on the black market. 

According to reporting done by WestwordStanton Dodge, the Colorado-based in-house counsel for mobile sports-betting application operator DraftKings, claims there are an estimated 1.2 million bets placed annually in Colorado, resulting in over $2.5 billion in illegal wagers placed online through offshore websites. And that doesn’t even include black-market betting in your local sports bar.

In our view, just like the legalization of marijuana, the benefit of taking an industry that operates in the shadows and turning it into a legal one that will be regulated and taxed for the greater good is a no-brainer. 

Proposition DD is modeled off the Colorado Lottery, which provides money to the state’s parks and open spaces. The funds from Proposition DD would go to water projects statewide that support water conservation, river health and agriculture.

It’s a win for water, and it deserves a “yes” vote on your ballot.

The Vail Daily Editorial Board is Publisher Mark Wurzer, Editor Nate Peterson, Sales Manager Holli Snyder, Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart, Eagle Valley Enterprise Editor Pam Boyd, Business Editor Scott Miller and Director of Special Projects Edward Stoner.