Colorado House Passes Controversial Gambling Credits Bill

Colorado has introduced a controversial bill to allow casinos to loan money to their players. While some members of the legislature welcomed the proposal, many believe that it will exacerbate harm by allowing players to wager beyond what they can afford. The measure in question, nicknamed SB23-259, seeks to allow casinos to offer credits to

Colorado has introduced a controversial bill to allow casinos to loan money to their players. While some members of the legislature welcomed the proposal, many believe that it will exacerbate harm by allowing players to wager beyond what they can afford.

The measure in question, nicknamed SB23-259, seeks to allow casinos to offer credits to their customers. The bill is mostly aimed at high-rollers who would otherwise have to carry suitcases full of money or seek ATMs to withdraw cash.

Since cashless gaming is yet to be implemented in most regulated markets, SB23-259 will be a great convenience to many players. As noted by Democratic Rep. Marc Snyder, the Bill will cater to the needs of gambling tourists.

However, this measure has a darker side as it may allow less well-off customers to wager beyond what they can afford. While the bill clearly states that casinos will have to evaluate a person before giving them credit and will require recipients to apply in advance, some are concerned that this might not be enough to prevent irresponsible spending.

Because of these concerns, the bill, which needed one final vote to pass the house, fell two votes short of passing with 31 votes in support of the measure and 34 votes against.

The Bill Was Resurrected to the Dismay of Opponents

Republican Rep. Richard Holtorf slammed SB23-259, saying that the people who will likely use gambling credits are the ones who have spent their own money.

Surprisingly, Holtorf had a sudden change of heart, and less than an hour later requested another vote. This time, three of the critics voted in support of the bill, allowing it to pass with 33 votes for and 32 votes against. A single proponent of the bill, namely Rep. Jenny Willford, voted against the bill during the second vote.

Holtorf’s indecisiveness attracted scrutiny from Democratic representatives, with Rep. Bob Marshall saying that “this is why people lose trust in the government.” Holtorf refused to comment on his decision.

Outside of the chamber, Representatives from both parties critiqued the decision to pass SB23-259. Rep. Jennifer Parenti implied that the bill was only resurrected because of special interests in the lobby. Parenti regretted the decision, concluding that “the people of Colorado deserve better.”

Other representatives also voiced their opinions, with some saying that the bill had died fairly only to be resurrected in order to help casinos make more money. Others also implied that the bill was only resurrected because of the lobby’s interests.

However, the bill’s journey is not over yet as the Senate will now consider the House’s amendments. Finally, it will be up to Gov. Jared Polis to sign it into law. If approved, the bill will go into effect this fall.

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