CRIPPLE CREEK — After voters approved measures allowing more local control of gambling restrictions, casino operators and employees alike are bracing for a new wave of business.
Colorado voters approved Amendment 77 Tuesday, which allows gambling towns like Cripple Creek, Black Hawk and Central City to set things like betting limits and and types of games allowed themselves, rather than the state.
At the same time, Cripple Creek voters passed measure 2A, which allows unlimited single bets for players, rather than the state's current $100 limit.
At Bronco Billy's casino, local COVID-19 restrictions mean table games are still off limits.
"We have blackjack craps and roulette, and three card poker,” said Bronco Billy’s Director of Table Games Lew Bosco. "We have so many players that keep calling and asking, when are your tables opening? They'll open at the appropriate time."
A time, which after Tuesday’s election, casino operators hope comes sooner than later.
"That's the first thing I checked just after I got here at 6 a.m. this morning was... did the gaming measures pass,” Bosco said.
He was excited when he saw 60% of voters voted in favor of Amendment 77.
"I think it will bring a lot of different clientele in,” Bosco said. “Over the years we've had a ot of people come in and sit down and want to bet more than $100, but obviously the state doesn't allow that."
Because of the COVID-19 restrictions on table games, card dealers like Justin Jameson are it of work.
"I wish this pandemic would end, because me being a dealer, it's tough on a lot of us dealers right now,” Jameson said.
To him, people spending more on bets could have a downside.
"It's gonna make it harder for tipped employees to make their money<” Jameson said. “A lot of people rely on that money to be able to survive."
But to casino operators,they believe being able to up the stakes, feels like a win for everyone.
"It's a very big deal,” Bosco said. "I think it's going to benefit not only every casino here in town, but it will be more enjoyable for the players, a better experience. The towns are going to benefit as well."
The new measures will officially go into effect on May 1, 2021.