Casinos have sided with religious groups and racetracks have
sided with tourist-oriented businesses to provide both opposition
and support for Amendment 33 from a curious divide of
“There’s a pretty interesting coalition that has come together
against this,” said Katy Atkinson, spokesperson for the No on 33
campaign, which is primarily funded by casinos.
Amendment 33 proposes the allowance of video lottery terminals
in existing gaming establishments. Revenues would be divided
amongst the state of Colorado, which will use $25 million for
tourism, and the Great Outdoors Colorado Program. The focus of the
amendment is to create funds to promote tourism in the state.
Atkinson said there are many problems with the amendment. Among
her primary concerns are that the amendment would not make the VLTs
regulated by the gaming committee, which may imply that the
gambling age could be lower on VLTs than the typical 21.
Atkinson said that with this amendment they would have “violated
just about every rule that Colorado has set on gambling,”
Some believe that Colorado tourism has dropped due to lack of
“We’ve lost $2.4 billion of what we would be getting if we had
continued to fund marketing Colorado how we had been,” said
Colorado Sen. Jack Taylor from northeast Colorado.
Taylor supports the amendment for a variety of reasons, but his
primary concern is financing tourism promotion. He said that for
those who are opposed to gambling, this amendment can be viewed as
“(VLTs) can be put in hometown convenience stores without the
vote of the people,” Taylor said. “Amendment 33 closes that door
and does require a vote of the people in the future to put these
devices in bars and businesses in your hometown.”
Atkinson said the amendment is a bad idea for Colorado taxpayers
because they may pay not only directly, but also in third-party
expenditures, such as additional roadways and law enforcement.
Taylor said that the amendment would not be funded by tax
“Not one penny from public tax dollars,” Taylor said.
Although the casinos have chosen to oppose the amendment,
racetracks have embraced it.
“We’re in favor of it,” said John Manning, general manager of
Cloverleaf Kennel Club. “We think it will boost the economy of the
state as far as tourism and it will help our business.”
The racetracks are prepared to pay the taxes and license fee
that come along with the VLTs, and owners hope that Amendment 33
“I hope everyone would keep an open mind when they go to the
polls (Tuesday),” Manning said.