The Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (CLGCC) approved distributions from tax revenue of $12.2 million. The distributions went to an array of beneficiaries, with the Water Implementation Cash Fund receiving a majority of the funding – a total of $11.36 million. This marks a 43% increase in distributions to the Colorado Water Plan from the previous year.
The Hold Harmless Fund received $746,726.88, and The Office of Behavioral Health received its annual distributon of $130,000. Of that money, $30,000 is set aside to support the operation of a problem gaming hotline, and the remaining $100,000 supports problem gaming services.
Funding the Colorado Water Plan
The Colorado Water Plan was established in 2015 to serve as a solutions framework for the state’s water challenges. Proposition DD, which legalized sports betting in Colorado, earmarked a significant portion of the sports betting tax revenue for the plan.
In Colorado’s first year of gaming, 2020-2021, $7.9 million was contributed to the plan. The 43% increase this year can be traced to the industry becoming more established in the state. The market has grown from the original four operators to 24 online operators and 15 retail locations.
The state plans to put even more funding towards the Water Plan as part of The Responsible Gaming Grant Program. The bill to create the program was passed in June 2022. In addition to adding more financial support for responsible gaming, the program will provide at least a 50% increase to funding for the Water Plan.
Next fiscal year, the program will increase funding to the Water Plan by $6 million. The amount is expected to grow year-over-year.