Nearby Casino Gaming

Casino style gambling came to Colorado through a State Constitutional amendment in 1990. The amendment petition drive was lead by business leaders in Central City, Blackhawk, and Cripple Creek.  These three tourist oriented towns were down on their luck as fewer and fewer people were visiting. And those that did come came only on weekends and mostly during the short Summer season. Representatives visited Deadwood, South Dakota and modeled their amendment after the effort in that state.  A lot of the tax revenue that would come from what was known as "limited states gaming," (a five dollar per bet limit) was to be dedicated to Colorado's state wide historic preservation program.  The participating Towns were National Historic Districts. 

The State's voters approved and the next October the first casinos opened.  While the proponents thought that it would be a group of T-shirt shops with a few slot machines what actually developed was full fledged casino gaming even with that $5 limit.  Thousands flocked to the Towns but mostly to Blackhawk; the easiest to reach and the most liberal in their reading of the law. It did not take long until the most of the small T-shirt style establishments gave way to good sized casinos.   

When the economy turned down in 2008 a change to the law, again approved as a Constitutional amendment, raised the limit to $100 per bet. Deadwood had done this earlier after they lost all the Denver business. Indian casinos were established in Western Colorado and in New Mexico unlimited gambling at Indian casinos developed.  In Colorado gamblers have wagered a net (wagers minus winnings) of $12.5 Billion (yes, not a typo, Billion) since gaming began. The industry has in excess of 7,000 employees.  A lot of tax money for historic preservation; now the best funded such program in the Country. The new limit added Community Colleges to the list of beneficiaries. 

What this means is that there are many Vegas style casinos twenty five minutes south of The Goldminer Hotel for those who are interested. Many do feature good food in restaurants of all types.  The website Casino City gives a good overview of the opportunities and for many it is an interesting night out and completely different from life at The Goldminer.