Colorado signs ‘games of skill’ bill into law to better define gambling

Colorado signs ‘games of skill’ bill into law to better define gambling

Colorado residents now know the state’s position on gambling. Last Wednesday, Lt. Governor Donna Lynne signed off on a bill drafted by state Reps. KC Becker and Paul Lundeen and Sen. Bob Gardner that clarifies Colorado regulations regarding the subject of “simulated gaming activity.” It further provides definitions of “gambling,” “prize” and “simulated gambling device” in the state.

Colorado signs ‘games of skill’ bill into law to better define gamblingUnder HB-18 1234, a simulated gambling device is now categorized as a device that combines “the elements of chance and skill, in accordance with the Colorado constitution.” The bill further explains that a simulated gambling device is illegal if the user is paid indirectly, “or in a nonmonetary form for use of a simulated gambling device, and that time of payment (i.e. before or after the use of the device) is irrelevant.”

The bill was pushed forward following a high-profile case this year related to gambling machines.

In April, three people were arrested and charged with 430 counts of operating illegal gambling operations at three different locations. The defendants, Eduard Gugulyan and the husband-wife team of Bargrat and Tammy Garamov, were accused of engaging in professional gambling, possession of gambling devices, fraudulent limited gaming acts, maintaining a gambling premise and shipping and invoicing slot machines. All three pleaded not guilty, in accordance with existing laws.

According to the bill, Colorado Revised Statute 16-13-303 was amended to classify the gambling devices as a “public nuisance,” which could result in “seizure, confiscation, and forfeiture” of the equipment. It also stipulates that “… the personal property of every kind and description, including currency and other negotiable instruments and vehicles, used in conducting, maintaining, aiding, or abetting any class 1 public nuisance is subject to seizure, confiscation, and forfeiture…”

Colorado Statute 18-10.5-103 was also amended to read, “A person commits unlawful offering of a simulated gambling device if the person offers, facilitates, contracts for, or otherwise makes available to or for members of the public or members of an organization or club any simulated gambling device where: The person receives, directly or indirectly, a payment or transfer of consideration is required or permitted for in connection with an entrant’s use of the simulated gambling device, for admission to premises on which the simulated gambling device is located, or for the purchase of any product or service associated with access to or use of the simulated gambling device, regardless of whether consideration in connection with such use, admission, or purchase is monetary or nonmonetary and regardless of whether it is paid or transferred before the simulated gambling device is used by an entrant.” This amendment does not apply to any owner, operator or customer who halts participation by July 1.