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Colorado Casinos Draft Online Poker Bill, But No Plans to Introduce Proposal Next Legislative Session

State's Plan Modeled After New Jersey Bill

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The Colorado Gaming Association has drafted a bill that would aim to legalize online gaming in the state, the group’s executive director Lois Rice told Card Player Tuesday.

The coalition of the state’s casinos considered introducing an Internet poker proposal this year, but had its hands full with another gaming-related issue.

Rice said the Association doesn’t have any plans for introducing it during the next legislative session, which beings in January 2013. However, she said that online gaming “will be an issue in Colorado” next year, as developments occur at the federal level and in other gaming jurisdictions.

The office of House Speaker Frank McNulty said that the legislature hasn’t yet heard about any push from the Gaming Association.

The Colorado plan is modeled after a bill in New Jersey. Some lawmakers in the Garden State have fought long and hard to authorize the activity, but it’s been a challenge appeasing Gov. Chris Christie.

According to data from the American Gaming Association, an industry lobbying group in Washington, D.C., Colorado’s 40 commercial casinos bring in about $750 million of revenue annually. Colorado’s poker games have a max bet of $100, a limit which would need to be resolved in the online gaming realm, according to Rice.

Colorado has long been cognizant of gambling in cyberspace. In 2005, a year before the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act, Colorado’s Attorney General explicitly stated that the activity was illegal.

Update: The Colorado Gaming Association Tweeted Wednesday that it “will not be pushing Internet gaming [legislation]” in 2013.

Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus