Colorado will need legislative solution to allow sports betting

Colorado will need legislative solution to allow sports betting

August 03, 2018 9:19 AM
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In Colorado, the state’s Attorney General said Thursday that a legislative solution rather than a constitutional alteration would be needed to allow sports betting in the state.

“After conducting a full legal analysis I have determined that commercial sports betting is not subject to state constitutional restrictions, but is prohibited gambling under Colorado’s current criminal code,” Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said in a statement. “Whether or not sports gaming should be legalized in our state will ultimately be up to the legislature to determine.”

Her office began a legal analysis of sports betting soon after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in May that PASPA, the law banning sports betting in every state but Nevada, was unconstitutional.

The analysis found that Title 18 in the Colorado Revised Statutes defines sports gambling as an illegal activity, and lawmakers would have to change that if they want allow sports betting

The Colorado Gaming Association said in a statement disagreeing with the legal study that her opinion is “legally incorrect.” The trade groups believes that even if legalizing sports betting can be done without a public vote (amending the state constitution), changing Colorado’s criminal code could be difficult to accomplish.

Colorado voters have previously voted against the idea of expanding gambling after approving a 1992 constitutional amendment allowing “limited gaming” in Blackhawk, Cripple Creek and Central City. Coffman’s formal opinion indicates sports betting is not currently legal in those three cities.