Initiative 135 wins the gamble and makes the ballot as Amendment 68

Categories: News, Politics

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On Monday, July 28, what had been initiative 135 officially became Amendment 68, after the Colorado Secretary of State Office's announced that it had reviewed the more than 136,000 petition signatures the campaign had submitted, and deemed enough valid to put the measure on the November 4 ballot.

See also: Initiative #135 would legalize casinos at racetracks: Yea or neigh?

That makes the proposal to allow casino gambling at Colorado racetracks only the second initiative to make the ballot. ">Amendment 67 was put on the ballot several months ago; pushed by Personhood USA, it would change the language of the Colorado Constitution to include unborn babies as official persons or children.

Former state senator Bob Hagedorn and former state representative Vickie Armstrong, 135's key proponents, released a joint statement after hearing from the Secretary of State's office: "The days from now through November will be spent educating Coloradans about this initiative and its benefits to Colorado students and the economy. We will be reaching out in a variety of ways from door-to-door canvassing to small group meetings in neighborhoods."

Not only would the casinos pay a hefty fee to open, but a certain percentage of the taxes collected at the tracks would be earmarked for education. The Coloradans for Better Schools website outlines reasons to support the initiative and describes the education fund.

The deadline for other initiatives to turn in their petitions is Monday, August 4.

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A similar proposal was voted down in 2010 in part, I believe, because they wanted to put the casino on the Riverwalk in Pueblo. They were afraid of increased crime in the area. My guess is that Pueblo Greyhound Park would be the leading site should the amendment pass, and that's in  a part of town that is mostly trailer parks, and right off Exit 95 of I-25.

What annoys me about taxation on the stupid proposals is that it is quite easy to reprogram funds. Suppose that the proposal is expected to raise 10% of whatever the state funding of the school budget is. That just frees 10% of the budget to be spent on other things. Colorado taxes gambling at 25% of the casino profit, so for the casinos to make what they consider to be a normal profit, the games have to be that much worse for people who gamble. 

If the state is going to have gambling, why not operate it under the lottery or other state agency and keep all the profit? Even if the upfront licensing fees are in the $100-200 million range, it's cheap over a 10-20 year period. 

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

The same brain-dead idiots who blindly voted for A64 because is said "something about Free $$ for Schools" -- without reading, much less comprehending, the amendment -- will no doubt vote for this piece of crap too.

Look forward to all specious amendment attempts to now include the false promise of "Massive $$$ for Schools" lure in them.

The Personhood Amendment might pass one day if they added a Huge Excise (get it?) Tax on every Abortion Clinic procedure performed -- an unborn baby termination fee -- with a promise of GAZILLIONS of $$ going to Schools.

Do it for The Children !! -- gamble away your pathetically puny IRA, and about those unborn persons!! -- Colorado Schools Need the $$


Oops, exit 94, not 95.

A problem with bringing racinos under the lottery is that they would have to sell a bond issue to build the racinos in Pueblo and Grand Junction, or reprogram lottery funds to pay for it, but even so, it's a big giveaway to corporations once the slot machines arrive. I believe that Pueblo Greyhound Park is owned by a British concern. 

Another interesting thing is that the racetracks that do not currently exist have to operate SOLELY as a racetrack for five years before they can add slots. That's why the state won't take the risk of running the tracks. 

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