With higher education funding in Colorado ranked 48 out of 50 in a Dec. 2007 Colorado Department of Higher Education Impact report, any move to allocate more money to institutions of learning is welcome.
Amendment 50 aims to open the door for the residents of gambling towns like Central City, Black Hawk and Cripple Creek to vote on increasing betting limits, approving the addition of new games and extending casino hours, with a significant portion of the new revenue being given to Colorado community colleges.
Currently, our state has the most restricted gambling laws in the country, according to the Colorado Voter Guide. Only slot machines, blackjack and poker are allowed under current state law. Maximum single bets are capped at $5. Casinos are also required to close between 2 and 8 a.m.
However, with the passage of Amendment 50, the gambling communities would be allowed to increase betting limits to $100 per single bet, extend casino hours and/or add roulette or craps games to their current offering of colorful money-makers.
According to the voter guide, the state collected $12 million from gaming taxes last year. Under the new amendment, 78 percent of the new revenue collected, and not used to pay for the enforcement of gaming laws, would be allocated for financial aid and classroom instruction at community colleges.
While the money would not directly help us here at CSU, passing Amendment 50 is a step in the right direction for solving our current higher education funding drought.