Get ready for some gambooooooooooling in the Rockies. Gambling halls have always been a part of the American western expansion in the late 19th Century. It's a part of history and lore. Colorado has a long history with gambling which first popped up during the gold and silver rush. But the $100 max bet rule felt a little weird and too nanny state of a vibe for the wild, wild west.
When legal casino came to fruition in Colorado, laws were set to protect their locals from problem gambling by enacting the $5 maximum bet rule. An initial amendment in 2008 bumped it up to $100 max bet. Eleven years later, the gambling boom produced 33 casinos in Colorado in Central City, Blackhawk, and Cripple Creek via Colorado Springs). There are also a couple of casinos on Native American land. According to the state treasurer, casinos in Colorado generated over $830 million in revenue in 2019. The casino biz is booming and continued to grow during the “green rush” after voters voted to legalize marijuana in 2012. Recreational weed officially came to Colorado in January 2014.
Even at $100 max, the cap became a thorn in the side to poker players. The $100 cap meant there was never anything other than low-stakes action. You can't have a proper $2/5 NL game with a $100 max bet. Heck, even a $½ game isn't truly no-limit with a $100 cap.
I once watched a high-stakes poker game in Blackhawk, Colorado at a $30/$60 table, which was essentially just a bunch of degens betting/raising $100 at a time.
Despite the $100 max bet rule, tournament poker thrived in Black Hawk. Tourneys were the only way to get a pure no-limit vibe. The poker room at Golden Gates hosted events on the Heartland Poker Tour.
With Amendment 77, Colorado casinos will finally have a Las Vegas vibe because it allows gamblers to bet bigger, which means any high rollers from Colorado will stay in-state instead of flying to Nevada for higher stakes. Poker players can finally have a proper poker game without getting knee-capped at $100.
Without the max bet rule. casinos will now spread new games including baccarat and Pai Gow poker. When you advertise baccarat, the whales will follow. It will keep the big baccarat money in-state instead of heading to Vegas.
"We appreciate that Coloradans supported our town's right to determine our future so we can improve economic opportunities for the people who work and live here," Cripple Creek mayor Bruce Brown told the Denver Post. "Things won't change overnight, but I believe this will help us get back on our feet."