Around $150 billion is wagered illegally on sports every year in the U.S.

(Apr. 22) –  The House Finance committee passed a bipartisan bill sponsored by Majority Leader Alec Garnett that would legalize sports betting in Colorado. This bill would require voter approval if passed by the General Assembly.

“Coloradans should have the option of betting on the Rockies in the World Series or the Avs in the  Stanley Cup. Voters support funding to protect our water and this will help them do their part,” said Majority Leader Garnett, D-Denver. “Our outdoor economy depends on access to water and healthy rivers and this will help generate much needed funding for the Colorado Water Plan. And it is our hope that this measure will help stamp out black market sports betting.”

HB19-1327 would provide a master license to local casinos who can then contract with brick and mortar and/or internet sports betting operators to provide sports betting in Colorado. A 10 percent tax on net sports betting proceeds will be placed in a Sports Betting Fund. That fund will go towards the Water Implementation Cash Fund to fund Colorado Water Plan projects to keep our drinking water safe, our farms and ranches thriving, and keep our rivers healthy.

The Colorado Water Conservation Board will govern the Water Plan Implementation Cash Fund. Some of the eligible projects for these funds are water storage and supply projects, conversation and land use projects, engagement and innovation activities, agricultural projects and environmental and recreation projects.

Organizations in support of this measure are the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, the Colorado Municipal League, the Colorado River District, the Environmental Defense Action Fund, Western Resource Advocates, and Denver Water.

HB19-1327 passed out of the committee with a bipartisan vote of 9-1. It now heads to the House Appropriations committee.

The bill is sponsored by Minority Leader Patrick Neville. The Senate sponsors are Sen. Kerry Donovan and Sen. John Cooke.

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