Colorado thin on regulators

Nov 7, 2006 3:32 AM

Among the 11 states that have commercial casinos, Colorado has the fewest slot machine regulators per device, according to an analysis by The Denver Post.

There are 17,000 slot machines in Colorado and five Division of Gaming employees assigned to oversee them.

That’s 3,400 machines for one official. Most other states have a ratio of fewer than 1,500 machines per official.

A recent crackdown, the first of its kind by Colorado’s slot unit, found that 14 of the state’s 46 casinos had defective or illegal slots.

In many cases, the slots had been on the gaming floor for more than two years after regulators had initially asked the casinos to remove them.

The state in August and September fined five casinos — Century Casino, Colorado Central Station, Isle of Capri, Riviera Black Hawk and Double Eagle — a total of $111,200 for slot violations.

Nine more casinos will face fines this month for similar violations, according to the Division.

Ron Kammerzell, Colorado’s Gaming Division director, said the state is sufficiently staffed to regulate the cash-flush industry.