The city of Black Hawk wasted no time.
Just weeks after Colorado voters approved Amendment 77, Black Hawk is the first of the three gaming communities to approve unlimited bets and new games at casinos.
As a press release from the city’s PR firm notes, with the passage of Ordinance 2020-30 and Resolution 68-20207, maximum bets in Black Hawk will now exceed the old cap of $100 per bet. Additionally, Black Hawk casinos will offer the following games and their variations:
- Pai Gow poker
- Big Six Wheel
The release adds that Black Hawk’s casinos will also be able to offer other games, like Casino War, Double Ball Roulette, Tiger Split, bonus Blackjack, and Stadium Blackjack.
The resolution also approves side bets on various games.
As David Farahi, COO of Monarch Casino and Resort and president of the Colorado Gaming Association (CGA), said to PlayColorado:
“It means Black Hawk has more tools to compete with other markets. I think this is going to be a great way to grow the pie. For so long, Black Hawk’s gaming market has been flat, and it’s just been a market-share fight. And this is a real way to grow the pie.
“The benefit is to not only the industry, but all of the gaming tax revenue beneficiaries, such as the community colleges, History Colorado, and the Colorado Tourism Office, which gets most of its budget from gaming tax revenue. So it not only helps the industry, but it grows the pie for everybody. And especially in a time like this, in a COVID world, and, hopefully soon, a post-COVID world.
“The state gave the keys to Black Hawk’s economic engine to the city of Black Hawk, and now they’re revving the engine.”
In terms of the Colorado Tourism Office, it doesn’t directly get the majority of the revenue from Amendment 77. But its budget is determined by the revenue.
Welcome news to Colorado casinos
As Colorado casinos experience déjà vu all over again, this is welcome news.
But it’s not only great for casinos and gaming tax beneficiaries, but also workers and those looking for work.
As Farahi said:
“The easiest example of that is with table games dealers, because when you have higher limits and you can add new games like baccarat, you need more dealers. And so more dealers also means more supervisors and pit bosses and so forth.”
As for what Amendment 77 does, the approval gives the voters of the three gaming towns the right to approve the maximum bet of any amount. It also allows them to add games.
You may wonder why the Black Hawk City Council is involved. The release notes that in the November election, Black Hawk voters also approved allowing the council to pass legislation to lift gaming limits and add new games.
What about Central City and Cripple Creek?
As for when Central City and Cripple Creek might follow suit, Farahi said:
“My understanding is that it happened in Central City (Tuesday night). And I expect that Cripple Creek will likely follow suit.”
In terms of next steps, the Division of Gaming and the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission will update the regulations. As the release notes, pending the updates, patrons should see new games, side bets and unlimited single-bet wagers available to players in Black Hawk on May 1, 2021.
In a year where good news has been hard to come by for casinos in Colorado, there is finally some light at the end of this dark tunnel.