April 28, 2022

TRANSFORMATIONAL BEHAVIORAL HEALTH BILLS ADVANCE HOUSE

Legislation would fund the responsible gaming program and water preservation efforts


DENVER, CO – The House Finance Committee passed Speaker Alec Garnett’s bill today to promote responsible gaming and support Colorado’s watersheds. HB22-1402 would allocate more than $3 million to create a grant program to provide services to Coloradans experiencing problem gaming and boost funding for the Colorado Water Plan.

“In the last two years, Colorado’s gaming industry has experienced significant growth and the excitement of sports betting has raised limits and boosted state revenue,” said Speaker Alec Garnett, D-Denver. “As Colorado’s gaming industry adapts, it is our responsibility to make sure Coloradans have the recovery and treatment resources they need to combat a gaming problem – this bill does that and more. It takes us one step closer to the original goal of legalizing sports betting in Colorado which is to provide proper funding to the Colorado Water Plan; and thanks to the increase in revenue, we can direct millions toward preserving Colorado’s watersheds and building a safer, healthier Colorado for everyone.”

Responsible Gaming Grant Program: HB22-1402, sponsored by Speaker Alec Garnett, passed committee by a vote of 9-2. The introduction of sports betting in Colorado in 2020 has led to major growth in the gaming industry, partly due to higher limits and additional games. This bill provides more funding for the responsible gaming grant program in the Department of Revenue (DOR) to promote responsible gaming and address problem gaming.

The grant program will distribute funding to help Coloradans struggling with gaming problems with prevention, recovery and treatment resources. The grant funding can also be used for research purposes to aid the DOR in providing better support for Coloradans recovering from a gaming problem. The bill also allocates more funding for the Colorado Water Plan by limiting the number of free bets that Sports Betting Operators can offer tax-free. Under the bill with fewer tax-free bets, the additional money raised from taxes on gaming will be allocated toward improving Colorado’s watersheds and environment.