Colorado Drafts Online Poker Bill
When it rains, it pours. Just a week after it was announced that Illinois is considering legalizing online gaming, another U.S. state has inched a step closer towards creating their own legal platform.
The Colorado Gaming Association has informed Card Player Magazine that they have drafted at bill that aims to legalize online poker in the state. There is a history of pro-poker tendencies in Colorado; in 2009, a state court ruled that poker is not gambling.
News of this bill should not be interpreted that legal online poker is imminent in Colorado. Colorado Gaming Association executive director Lois Rice told Card Player that online gaming “will be an issue in Colorado” next year. This is a contrast with states like New Jersey and Illinois where there is a push to legalize some form of iGaming as quickly as possible.
Colorado has appeared to be gradually warming up to the idea of poker for some time. Currently, there are more than a dozen live poker rooms in casinos in the Centennial State. The poker action in these rooms were restricted by a rule that allowed for a maximum bet of $5 until a 2009 proposal allowed the maximum bet be increased to $100. That same proposal granted casinos the ability to operate 24 hours as opposed to having to close after alcohol could no longer be served.
Card Player says that Colorado’s online poker bill is modeled after a similar bill in New Jersey. A recent amendment to the New Jersey bill would provide for the state to accept bets from out-of-state residents provided their Division of Gaming Enforcement did not find this to be in violation of federal law. One speculates whether the Colorado bill also seeks to capitalize on accepting bets from residents outside the state’s borders.
It remains interesting to observe which states will jockey to get a slice of the pie as gaming regulation makes its way into the U.S. currently with no help from the federal government. Weigh in on how you think it will all go down by joining the conversation in our gaming forums.