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Ute Mountain Utes plan to open sports book

Tribe plans to start operation by May 1 at Ute Mountain Casino
The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe plans to open a sports book at the Ute Mountain Casino by May 1.

The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe plans to open a sports book at its Ute Mountain Casino in Towaoc by May 1.

Nicki Green, an attorney with the tribe, said tribal officials are exploring several gaming firms to outsource the operation.

A management contract with the firm that would operate the sports book would have to be submitted for approval to the National Indian Gaming Commission, she said.

Details about the eventual scope of the sports book are being worked out.

“Physically, it will be really nice area in the casino with large-screen TVs,” she said.

Green said the Tribal Council is in favor of moving forward with a sports book, but the Tribal Council does not need to take formal action to move forward on opening the sports book.

Lindsay Box, spokeswoman with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, said Thursday the Southern Utes have no update concerning the possibility of opening a sports book at the Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio.

November passage of Proposition DD, which legalized sports books in state-regulated, limited-stakes casinos in Cripple Creek, Black Hawk and Central City, opened the door to sports books at Ute Mountain and Sky Ute casinos.

Gaming compacts between the tribes and the state allow the tribes to operate any game of chance that is legal at state-regulated casinos in the three historic mining towns.

Before passage of DD, Box released a statement from the Southern Utes stating: “The Southern Ute Indian Tribe takes no position on the proposed propositions. Any new idea in the gaming industry brings excitement and potential opportunities but also requires considerable due diligence to make sure it makes sense both economically for the tribe and for the Southern Ute community. No decision has yet been made by the tribe on sports betting.”

On Nov. 5, Colorado became the 19th state to allow sports betting after voters narrowly approved Proposition DD 712,405 to 692,377.

Voters in both Montezuma and La Plata counties rejected DD.

In La Plata County, DD was rejected with 8,414 voters opposing it and 8,368 supporting. In Montezuma County, 5,204 voters rejected DD and 3,118 supported it.

parmijo@durangoherald.com

Jul 26, 2021
Ute Mountain casino and hotel reopen
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