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Sports Betting On Its Way To Colorado After Narrow Vote

Colorado is on the verge of legalizing sports betting after voters approved a proposition for it, one that would tax casino proceeds 10 percent to benefit water conservation and storage. The vote was incredibly close, only passing by one percent.

Christians in the state have opposed this measure that legislators voted to place before the electorate.

Once again, the voters only got the upper hand by a mere one percent. Colorado Director of Elections Judd Choate told Baptist Press the spread is well outside the margin, and that no recount is necessary.

Choate said there are still about 150,000 votes that still need to be counted. However, most of those ballots are in heavily populated areas that have approved the legalization of sports betting in mass numbers. Colorado expects sports betting to be legalized by a much larger margin than the 13,000-vote difference that is currently out there.

Opposition To The Proposition

Bruce Hausknecht, a legal analyst for Focus on the Family, said that legalized sports betting promotes a deceptive lure that most people cannot handle.

“Proposition DD offers false promises that disguise the harsh reality behind gambling,” Hausknecht told the Colorado Sun before Election Day. “Gambling’s effects on the family can be devastating. It promotes poverty, crime and family breakdown, including divorce.”

The Southern Baptists have a longstanding view opposed to gambling. Most recently, in 2017, the Southern Baptist Convention has passed 18 efforts focused on and highlighting the sin and dangers of gambling.

As for the resolution On the Sin of Gambling, it encourages all of their believers to stay away from gambling, urges government leaders to end state-sponsored gambling to reduce all forms of destructive gambling and to address its harmful effects through policy and legislation; and encourages SBC leaders, entities, and pastors to continue to educate Southern Baptists on the deceptive sin of gambling.

Gambling violates the principles of neighbor-love, lordship, work, contentment and stewardship, among others, messengers said in approving the document.

Sports Betting Movement

Sports gambling had always been a federal crime in nearly every state since 2018. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the ban under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), allowing states to legalize sports betting.

Prior to Tuesday’s vote, sports gambling was already legal in Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, West Virginia and Washington D.C. Soon, Colorado will be added to that list.

In the state of Colorado, a 10 percent tax on all casinos’ net proceeds from sports betting is expected to bring in about $29 million per year. The Centennial State already has 31 operable casinos, where most of that sports betting will take place.

The push for mobile sports betting will also be another tug-of-war for another day. A few different states have rolled that out as part of their plan, and it’s been successful in nearly every state that has adapted to the way of thinking.

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