Revenue sets record

Jul 24, 2007 2:16 AM

Colorado’s mountain casinos took in about $799 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2007, eclipsing last year’s record performance by 4.4 percent.

The three gaming towns of Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek posted a strong finish in June, the final month of the state’s fiscal year, the state’s gaming division reported last week. An extra weekend that month helped bolster overall results.

"It’s continued growth in the industry," said Burmania said, a spokesman for Colorado’s Gaming Division. "There’s only been one year where there hasn’t been positive growth."

Also helping to lure patrons to the mountain communities was unseasonably hot weather in Denver.

Statewide, casino proceeds — the amount gamblers bet minus payouts — jumped about 9 percent to $69 million during June. Black Hawk revenues rose 8.2 percent from June 2006 to almost $49 million, while Cripple Creek proceeds rose 2.5 percent to about $13.4 million.

Central City had the biggest monthly gain. Revenues rose 26 percent to $6.8 million.

A spokesman for Fortune Valley Casino said the relatively new parkway leading from Interstate 70 to Central City has continued to lure more visitors to both Central City and nearby Black Hawk.

The year-over-year revenue gains came despite two separate closures of the alternate route to Black Hawk via U.S. 6, first in the fall and again in the spring. The highway was closed for paving and rock mitigation projects.

The banner year for Colorado casinos generated a record $112 million in gaming tax revenues for the state. Collectively, Colorado gambling tax proceeds exceeded the previous year’s record by 5.5 percent.

The only year gaming revenue declined was fiscal 2003, when it dropped 0.1 percent. A major blizzard that year cost casinos more than $6 million in gross revenue.