Although Colorado’s gambling industry suffered significant losses, the casinos in the state keep their hopes up that sports betting is going to compensate for that and that the gaming in Colorado will be completely different in 2021.
Sports betting in Colorado surpassed $1 billion in bets, which justifies the optimism regarding the future of he practice in the state. Soon table games will expand without bet limits.
According to Tim Morrissey, the General Manager of Saratoga Casino Black Hawk Colorado, the property is facing exciting times with the additions of a sportsbook and new table games. He added: “I think we have a lot of strong plans for what the future holds.”
Only Partial Help
However, the city’s lawmakers think that the introduction of sports betting provided only partial help for casinos since Colorado has seen a decrease in collected taxes from its three gaming communities up in the mountains. In the meantime, Gilpin County, home of Central City and Black Hawk – two of the state’s gambling hubs, registered only half of the taxes compared to previous years.
According to Mr. Morrissey, sports betting definitely helped and it is appreciated by the industry in Black Hawk. He added: “The impact overall is positive for our business. Certainly today with the pandemic going on, any incremental revenue is great revenue for us.”
Many casinos signed revenue sharing agreements with sportsbook operators to compensate for losses, which were significant in the city, since many casinos were closed in March, April, May and June of 2020.
Some of the casinos opened doors but table games have been shut for longer and many remained closed through November when Covid-19 cases growing in numbers.
According to Mr. Morrissey, the city just needs to be more versatile and adaptive to the changes.
The coronavirus had the strongest impact on citizens of Gilpin County, since about 25% of them work in gaming. Many workers lost their jobs after the casinos closed.
However, on Saturday, the county received a permission to increase capacity to 175 people in most places. This could definitely help some bring back their jobs but the best thing that could happen to Gilpin County is to eliminate limits and to expand table games, which is expected to happen this coming May.
Mr.Morrissey said: “That will allow us to change the way we market table games; change the guests we’re attracting. We have a lot to offer for entertainment for those guests as their confidence returns and they want to come up the hill and have some fun,”
According to some, including Mr. Morrissey, the vaccines are the only solution for the gaming industry to return to normal.
Source: “Colorado casinos optimistic about the future of sports betting: ‘It’s a very exciting time’”, CBS Denver, February 7, 2021