Our View: Yes on Amendments 77 (gambling) and C (charitable games)
Eagle County voters face a monster of a ballot this fall full of complex choices. That said, Amendment 77 and Amendment C are, in our opinion, two easy choices. We’re urging voters to check yes on both.
Here’s what you need to know about Amendment 77: All it does is allow voters in the historic towns of Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek to decide for themselves if they want to expand authorized games and increase maximum bets. That’s it.
If passed, those three cities — the only places where gaming is legal in Colorado — can hold their own elections to vote on approving a maximum single bet limit of any amount and expand allowable game types in addition to slot machines, blackjack, poker, roulette, and craps.
A no vote would mean that the current maximum single bet limit of $100 would remain in place, and would deny expanding allowable game types.
Yes, with gambling, there is always the concern about the lives wrecked from an addiction to betting. But we tend to take the view that regulating, taxing and using gambling funds for good around the state is better than ignoring the fact that people are going to gamble regardless — whether it’s in Nevada or Atlantic City or on the black market.
We also think that voters in Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek should have the right to do what they think is best for their communities. We know Eagle County residents feel the same way.
And dollars from gambling tax revenue have been good for Colorado, with money going to preserving historical sites and state programs to promote tourism.
As for Amendment C, if passed, it would allow for amending the Colorado Constitution to lower the number of years — from three to five — that an organization must have existed before obtaining a charitable gaming license. It would also allow charitable organizations to hire managers and operators of gaming activities so long as they are not paid more than the minimum wage.
If you’re unsure what charitable gaming is: Think bingo, pull-tab games or raffles that are run by charitable organizations, including some in Eagle County, to raise funds for noble causes.
This amendment just makes it easier for nonprofits looking to do good — from chartered branches, lodges, or chapters of national or state organizations, and religious, charitable, labor, fraternal, educational, voluntary firefighters’, or veterans’ organizations — to raise money through these kinds of games.
And, especially in these challenging times of COVID-19, we’re in full support of making it easier for charities to raise money to help those in need.
Our endorsement: Vote yes on Amendment 77 and Amendment C.
The Vail Daily Editorial Board is Publisher Mark Wurzer, Editor Nate Peterson, Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart, Digital Engagement Editor Sean Naylor, Business Editor Scott Miller, Eagle Valley Enterprise Editor Pam Boyd and Advertising Director Holli Snyder.
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