All three Colorado casino towns now set to expand gambling

Colorado’s three casino towns are now “all in” in deciding through voter referendums to expand gambling in their communities, as provided under Amendment 50 which statewide voters approved last November.

Residents in both Black Hawk and Central City OK’d in January expanded gambling by votes of 54 to 6 and 212 to 16 respectively. They follow Cripple Creek, which voted in December.

As a result, beginning in July, casinos in the three towns can stay open 24 hours a day instead of the previous 18-hour limit, raise the wagering limit from $5 to $100 and add craps and roulette to the games local casinos offer.

The biggest issues in voting from expanded gambling in the two towns was jobs, which locals believed could be lost amid the slumping economy if gamblers were not given a bigger incentive to drive to these remote mountain towns, the Rocky Mountain News reported.

Local casino owners also are enthusiastic about the changes. The Red Dolly Casino in Black Hawk, which last year dropped its blackjack tables because the $5 betting limit didn’t bring in enough money to justify the staff needed to run them, will reopen the tables plus three more in July, said general manager Craig Ramirez. Red Dolly also will add craps and roulette tables, but likely will stay open 24 hours only on Friday through Sunday nights.