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Cripple Creek's not gaining from Amendment 50

June 03, 2010

When Amendment 50 was passed last summer, it brought hopes of increased gaming at local casinos. The amendment increased betting wage limits from $5 to $100. It also extends operation hours to 24 hours daily. As well as added other games like roulette and craps. Casinos are also required to pay more state taxes to help fund Colorado’s community colleges. However the casino owners of Cripple Creek have not seen much in the way of increased revenue.

Mayor Bruce Brown stated everyone has been surprised by the mountain towns slowing economy. Some casino owners feel they are being affected by the higher gas prices and the ban on smoking.

Experts in finance believe the way to evaluate how a casino town is performing is how much patrons bet on games. This is called “coin in”. Using this measurement, Cripple Creek has not seen growth since 2004. Presently the “coin in” is down 7.3%.

However, not all casino towns have poor performance. Amendment 50 has increased gaming in Black Hawk. They have 73.6% of gaming market in Colorado. Some believe it is because of the location. Black Hawk is closer to Denver than Cripple Creek. Ameristar Casino Hotel recently spent $300 million to open their 33 story facility there. Adjusted gross proceeds for Black Hawk have increased by 6.6%.

Return to Colorado Casinos.

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