The Centennial State is so named because Colorado officially became a state in 1876, 100 years after the United States Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. And it appears that the year 2113 will bear some significant Colorado online poker Centennial celebration if the most recent legislation that was passed there moves forward. The Colorado Gaming Association is the organization which regulates the gaming industry both online and offline in that state, and after watching Nevada succeed as the first state to legalize online gaming in the United States, Colorado has been pushing hard to get a piece of the financial online gaming pie as well.
Lois Rice is the Executive Director of the Colorado Gaming Association, and in an interview with Card Player magazine on May 22, she reported that the state has successfully drafted a proposed bill aimed at legalizing online gaming in Colorado. You may recall that the Department of Justice in the United States up until November of last year considered any form of online gambling illegal. Late last year they reversed their opinion, and now allow each individual state to propose and regulate their own version of online gambling if they so desire.
The US DOJ proclaimed that online gambling on sporting events would still be illegal, but that online games like poker would be up to each individual state to police. That left the door wide open for state legislators to frame regulation that would deliver online gaming and gambling in their respective states. It has been approximately 6 months since the DOJ statement opened the door for possible legal online gaming in the United States, and so far roughly a dozen states have been actively seeking online gaming regulation and legislation in one form or another.
Rice stated that even though they have drafted an online poker bill, revisions may be made if that bill isn’t passed, and there are no current plans to introduce their current proposal until the next legislative session anyway. She also said that the current Colorado plan was modeled closely after a recent New Jersey bill regarding online gaming in that state was approved. She went on to add that a panel representing the state’s physical brick-and-mortar casinos had desired to introduce some type of Internet poker proposal and legislation earlier, but that they were in the middle of another gaming related issue.
January of 2013 is the next legislative session in Colorado, and when asked why it was so important to get their bill put forward now with such a long wait before a decision, she pointed out that this will give everyone time to discuss the matter in depth. She also predicts that changes will happen on the federal level as well as the statewide level, and guarantees that online gaming and gambling “will be an issue in Colorado” next year.
Colorado House Speaker Frank McNulty confirmed that he had not been contacted about the push from the Colorado Gaming Association to get their current proposal moved forward this year, and agrees it probably would have been a last-minute inclusion. It looks like Colorado is moving forward slowly, to ensure the best possible chance at a guaranteed passage of some type of online gaming legislation in early 2013.