During the first year of increased betting limits, Colorado casinos saw a record-breaking year in wagers placed. According to the Colorado Department of Revenue gamblers in the Centennial State wagered just under $1 billion in the fiscal year 2021-22.
Thanks to the increase in gaming revenue the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission approved a distribution of $148.6 million. This money will go to the state’s general fund as well as community colleges, the historical society, and more.
The 39% increase in funds is a big bounce back. This was helped by the vast majority of Colorado casinos allowing guests to wager more at the tables.
Prior to last year, casinos in Black Hawk, Cripple Creek, and Central City were only allowed to take wagers up to $100. Thanks to voters passing Amendment 77, casinos are allowed to increase betting limits on table games like blackjack.
This large spike doesn’t come as too much of a surprise. Colorado casinos were closed during part of the previous fiscal year to help slow the spread of Covid-19.
There likely would have been some kind of an increase in Colorado casino wagers regardless. The boost probably wouldn’t be as drastic if not for new limits and new games in Colorado casinos.
Changes At Colorado Casinos
In addition to higher wagering limits, Colorado casinos are allowed to add games to casino floors. During the last fiscal year, guests at Colorado casinos could play Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, and a few other new games along with blackjack and slot machines.
Thanks to the increased gaming revenues many of the 35 Colorado casinos have been making improvements to their properties. Caesars recently rebranded Isle Casino as Horseshoe Black Hawk.
According to a press release, the transformation into Horseshoe will include a renovation of the exterior, new rooms, and a refreshed casino floor.
“Isle Casino Hotel Black Hawk is the premier choice for gaming, dining and nightlife and the transformation into the iconic Horseshoe brand will only enhance the experience for our guests,” said Isle Casino Hotel Black Hawk SVP and General Manager, Norris Hamilton. “We couldn’t be more excited to bring this legendary brand to Colorado and continue to offer unparalleled and elevated experiences.”
The Nevada Independent thinks that the changes to wagering limits in Colorado could make the state more attractive to Nevada casino operators.
This may or may not impact blackjack players.
Colorado Blackjack Rules
Most Colorado casinos offer fair 3:2 blackjack games. However, these casinos could offer games that pay 6:5 when a player is dealt a natural blackjack.
Here’s a quick look at the blackjack rules Colorado casinos can offer:
- Natural blackjack may pay 3:2 or 6:5
- Dealer may stand on Soft 17
- A player may double down on any two cards
- Players may double after splitting a pair
- Casinos must offer Surrender
According to Colorado Advantage, only one casino is currently dealing 6:5 blackjack games. According to the website, Lady Luck Casino is the only property that is dealing this kind of game.
That could change if new casino operators from Nevada begin entering the market.
Caesars’ Las Vegas casinos offer a mixture of 3:2 and 6:5 blackjack games. Caesars’ Horseshoe Black Hawk only offers games that pay 3:2 to players receiving a natural blackjack.
If there’s a candidate for a current casino operator to offer 6:5 blackjack games, it would be Caesars. Having said that, there’s no indication that Caesars plans to change the blackjack payouts.
However, this is something to keep an eye on. If any current Colorado casino operator is going to switch to 6:5 blackjack payouts it’s the company that offers it at other properties in the US.