In November, Coloradans passed Amendment 77, a ballot initiative that would allow the local lawmakers of the towns that house the properties to decide whether or not to raise the $100 limit. On Dec. 1, the Black Hawk City Council voted to remove the limit and allow for unlimited betting, according to a report from the Denver Post.
In the weeks following Black Hawk’s decision, lawmakers in Cripple Creek and Central City, the two other cities with casinos, passed similar measures.
Along with the new wagering rules, lawmakers also allowed new games in the casinos. Baccarat, keno, pai gow poker, and other table games will now be offered at various properties. Both the new game selection and betting rules will go into effect in May.
For poker players, this change means that traditional no-limit hold’em cash games will now be offered in Colorado. For the state’s entire history of spreading poker games, it was only allowed to offer spread-limit hold’em. Players were never allowed to bet or raise more than $100 on any street in order to stay within the state’s gambling laws.
That changes with recent developments as poker players will be able to move all in regardless of how much they have in their stack. The move could spark a mini poker boom in the state, like what was seen in Florida after similar laws were changed in 2010.
Even if there is a poker boom, the new rules likely won’t create a huge boom for casino owners. Sean Demeule, general manager of Ameristar Casino in Black Hawk, told the Denver Post that he doesn’t believe overall gambling revenue will change in any meaningful capacity.
“This is not a game changer for us,” said Demeule. “When I say it’s not a game changer, I mean I don’t expect it to grow revenue by hundreds of millions of dollars every year. It just allows us to have some parity with neighboring states.”
Colorado is home to 33 land-based casinos. In 2019, the year with the most recent data available, those properties generated a combined $833.6 million in gambling revenue.