John Quintana never thought he’d be dealing blackjack. But when he was laid off from his telecommunications job, he tells CBS4, he was glad the casinos were expanding–for the sake of his mortgage. At the stroke of midnight tonight, Amendment 50, passed overwhelmingly by voters last November, takes effect, allowing bettors to plunk down $100 wagers in Colorado’s three gaming towns. The Colorado Springs Gazette notes the job boom has been in the making for a while: Two of Cripple Creek’s casinos collaborated with Pikes Peak Community College to host a series of dealer classes, netting about 150 graduates. In all, across the state casinos have hired more than 750 employees, according to the Colorado Gaming Association. Of course, with the higher stakes come fears of the downside, including an anticipated “surge in cheaters,” writes The Denver Post. That would be a change from the past three years, for example, when just two of 13 cheating complaints led to arrests.
In the just-in-time-for-the-new-law category, witness the trading of hands of Black Hawk’s Weekly Register-Call, an old newspaper that has a solid reputation for fearlessly taking on politicians. But the paper has been purchased by Black Hawk Mayor David Spellman, alarming Debra Krause, the paper’s editor for more than a decade. “The mayor, the council and elected officials do not want anything printed about them in the press–especially anything negative,” she tells 7News.