Colorado casinos brace for 'biggest weekend'; in history

Jul 3, 2009 7:20 PM
by David Stratton | Colorado casinos, armed with higher limits, new games and round-the-clock gambling kicked off a new era with elbow-to-elbow crowds that are expected to swell to record levels over the holiday weekend.

Sweeping revisions to the state’s gambling regulations went into effect Wednesday, which include raising the maximum bet from $5 to $100; allowing casinos to offer craps and roulette table games; and letting them stay open 24 hours.

Patrons responded with Vegas-like enthusiasm. Business at the Isle Casino in Black Hawk reported business was up 60 percent compared to a year ago, while the Lodge and Gilpin casinos in Black Hawk reported three times more gamblers than they had on the same day a year ago.

Las Vegas-based Golden Gaming, which operates three casinos in Black Hawk, also reported a big turnout.

"Our table games and poker business were up significantly," said Christopher Abraham, spokesman for Golden Gaming. "Our poker room was going all night long."

Abraham added he expected much larger crowds over the Fourth of July weekend.

"This had the potential to be the busiest weekend in Colorado gaming history," he said.