The application window for entities seeking a Colorado Division of Gaming’s Responsible Gaming grant is now open for 2024 funding.
Colorado created the Responsible Gaming Grant Program 2022 to address problem gambling in the state. Its first two rounds of disbursements occurred this year.
Division of Gaming Director Christopher Schroeder said the grant money is used to make gaming in Colorado as safe as possible.
“As stewards of responsible gaming, we have the privilege and responsibility to shape a safer and more enjoyable gaming landscape in Colorado. These grants are a testament to our commitment to promote responsible gaming, protect our communities, and ensure a brighter future for all.”
Grant applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. Dec. 1.
Which entities are eligible to receive grants?
The Division of Gaming’s grant criteria weeds out many unqualified entities. Only nonprofit organizations and state agencies/programs can apply, and they must address one or more of the following Colorado responsible gambling issues:
- Problem gambling
- Addiction treatment
- Operations of:
- Educational programs
- Counseling and related support services
- Research or advocacy efforts
Requests for capital projects are ineligible to receive grant program funding. Also, any organization that misrepresents or inaccurately reports financial information is automatically disqualified.
Past winners must reapply and show proof of efficacy every year
All grant recipients must submit reports by Sept. 1 each year showing they have met certain requirements. Grant money is distributed yearly, with nearly $2.5 million awarded so far.
Requirements include achieving stated objectives, evaluating results, showing local impact in the community, etc.
All grant awardees must reapply each year to receive continued funding. Those who do not complete reporting requirements are ineligible to reapply for a year due to non-compliance.
The state awarded its first round of grantees in February, totaling $1,571,965. Those funds focused on problem gambling awareness, addiction treatment and educational programs. The three recipients were:
- Kindbridge Research Institute
- Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health
- Problem Gambling Coalition of Colorado
In April, the state awarded another $908,089 to three new projects:
- Two projects from Kindbridge: the Colorado Athlete Wellbeing Program and the “Pathway to Treatment” mental health assessment program for in-state student-athletes.
- The Division of Gaming’s RG campaign, Play Legal, Play Responsible, Play Safe.
RG at the axis of sustainable gambling
Colorado’s RG grants show how seriously it takes problem gambling. The state’s gambling industry has grown in the last few years with legal sports betting, abolishing betting limits and opening new casinos.
Math dictates that a society with more gamblers will also have more gambling problems to address, even if the same percentage of the population experiences a gambling problem. Colorado sports betting and casino revenues produce some of the highest per-capita figures in the state, confirming that we Coloradans enjoy gambling.
Looking ahead, the opportunities to gamble in The Centennial State will increase. Discussions of online casino gaming will gain steam in the coming election cycles.
Legal gambling provides the state with a significant revenue source. IGaming would increase that exponentially. It would also create a greater need for RG efforts, which the state already recognizes. Its investment in RG-related programs should increase as the industry grows.
Applications for 2024 grants will be accepted over the next two weeks. The Division of Gaming will announce awardees during its February meeting.