Amendment P - Regulation of Games of Chance Question

By: KKCO Email
By: KKCO Email

MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO) - All registered voters are eligible to vote yes or no on the following amendment.

Amendment P (CONSTITUTIONAL)
Shall there be an amendment to section 2 of article XVIII of the constitution of the state of Colorado, concerning the regulation of games of chance by an authority specified by the general assembly?

NOTE: Ballot issues referred by the general assembly or any political subdivision are listed by letter, and ballot issues initiated by the people are listed numerically. A ballot issue listed as an “amendment” proposes a change to the Colorado constitution, and a ballot issue listed as a “proposition” proposes a change to the Colorado Revised Statues. A “yes” vote on any ballot issue is a vote in favor of changing current law or existing circumstances, and a “no” vote on any ballot issue is a vote against changing current law or existing circumstances.

Analysis of Amendment P (Regulation of Games of Chance) as offered by the 2010 State Ballot Information Booklet or Voter Blue Book.

Amendment P proposes amending the Colorado Constitution to:
- transfer the licensing of games of chance, such as bingo and raffles, from the Department of State to the Department of Revenue; and
- allow the state legislature to change the department of oversight and the requirement that an organization exist for five years with a dues-paying membership to qualify for a license.

Summary and Analysis:

Colorado law allows certain nonprofit organizations to use bingo and raffles to raise money for charity. Bingo and raffles are games in which prizes are won based on randomly picked numbers. Since 1958, the Department of State has regulated these games by issuing licenses, collecting fees, conducting inspections, addressing complaints, and imposing penalties. Currently, organizations must have been in existence for five years with a dues-paying membership to qualify for a license.

Amendment P allows the state legislature to choose a state agency to regulate bingo and raffles. The legislature may also change the requirement that an organization must have operated for five years with a dues-paying membership to qualify for a license. During the 2010 session, the state legislature passed a bill selecting the Department of Revenue to regulate bingo and raffles if Amendment P is adopted.

The Department of Revenue currently regulates casino gambling, licenses casinos and casino employees, conducts compliance audits, and approves casino gambling devices. The department also operates the Colorado Lottery.

Argument For:
1) The Department of Revenue currently regulates most gaming in the state and has established a framework to monitor financial resources and transactions. In a 2008 report to the state legislature, both the departments of Revenue and State found that it would be more practical and efficient to consolidate the regulation of these games in the Department of Revenue.

Argument Against:
1) For over 50 years, the Department of State has regulated bingo and raffles, and there is no need to move this oversight to another state agency. A 2007 state regulatory agency report concluded that the Department of State has adequately performed bingo licensing and enforcement functions, and found no compelling reason to move bingo regulation to the Department of Revenue. During an economic downturn, the state should not spend an estimated $116,000 to move the regulation of bingo and raffles.

Estimate of Fiscal Impact:
Under Amendment P, the state will have estimated one-time costs of $116,000 in budget year 2010-11 to move regulation of bingo and raffles to the Department of Revenue. The department requires computer software and other items to bring bingo and raffle licensing into its current gaming operations. These costs will be paid with existing revenue from bingo and raffle licenses.


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