May 18, 2012 8:34 PM by Siera Santos
As Cripple Creek casinos see a steady flow of traffic during the weekends, gambling is up all over the state.
"Since 2010, we've seen a slight increase in business," says Bronco Billy's assistant manager Ben Douglass.
According to the state-wide figures issued today, gambling in the first four months of 2012 is up 2.5 percent.
"Over the next year, we hope to grow about 1.5 percent over last year. It's a goal we have, but it's a slow and steady process," Douglass adds.
Nationwide, casinos have seen a 4.5 percent increase since 2010. The increase in business means people have more disposable income, a sign the economy is on the upswing.
"People are coming back and you can see signs of the economy improving. For the community, it means more streets and programs. Casinos in these small mountain towns really support businesses and the local community quite a bit."
Overall, casinos around the country took in $35.6 billion last year.