After, yet again, failing to live up to the bipartisan rhetoric he likes to tout, we’d figure a bipartisan bill like Representative Brian DelGrosso’s H.B. 14-114— which would prohibit the sale of lottery tickets online— would be just the thing Governor John Hickenlooper couldn’t wait to sign. But after passing out of committee on a bipartisan 10-3 vote, DelGrosso’s bill has gone missing. Since the committee’s vote on February 12, the bill’s reading on the House Floor has been laid over not once, not twice, but three times. Some are beginning to wonder if Hickenlooper is asking for delays so he can quietly pick off Democrats one by one until he has enough to kill the bill.
If so, he is doing it in the face of overwhelming support for the bill. Convenience stores, the Colorado Retail Council, the Colorado Gaming Association, the Colorado Licensed Beverage Association, the Colorado Petroleum Marketers Association, the City of Black Hawk, Cripple Creek Casino Association, and Gilpin County have all come out in favor of the bill. Why such broad support? Lottery tickets often drive foot traffic through small businesses like convenience stores and mom and pop shops.
First Data, the company who’d be in charge of the selling the lottery tickets online, is the sole opposition. Oh, strike that, apparently Hickenlooper, too. But he’s in the shadows, creepin’.
But that would make sense for a bill birthed by accident. What started innocently enough as a bill just meant to ensure lottery tickets were available in the near future, blew up when the Department of Revenue (some say accidentally) revealed they were already in the process of promulgating rules to sell lottery tickets online. And boom went the dynamite. And, the bill quickly morphed into what is waiting to be read on the House Floor presently.
Yet, what no one can seem to figure out: what’s Hickenlooper’s stake in this game? Why does he wish to expand gambling in Colorado? And why was he so quietly trying to get it online?
PeakNation™, dark things are hatched in the shadows.
So what exactly is Hickenlooper's interest in First Data? Is it financial, part of his business interests?