Free Play receives mixed reviews

Cher Rain-Bolt, Central City.  A tax rebate for casino Free Play coupons received a mixed review at the City of Central Council regular meeting at 7 p.m. on May 16, 2017, at the City Hall, 141 Nevada Street. The Council also received the Silver Davey Award for its website.


A three-year tax rebate program of 3.5 percent by June 30, 2020, has been proposed to casinos by the Colorado Gaming Association as a means to bolster gaming tax revenue. The Free Play program utilizes a quarterly tax rebate for casinos, equal to the amount of tax paid on Free Play Coupons from the preceding quarter.


The rebate is issued as credit against the following quarter taxes. For casinos to receive the rebate, a growth rate, compared to the high water mark of the fiscal year, must be demonstrated. Additionally, the gaming tax revenue paid to the state must be either equal to or greater than tax revenue on a 12-month trailing basis.


If revenues do not meet or exceed the high water mark of the fiscal year and demonstrate yearly net revenue increases, the casinos assume the risk for expensive equipment, which in turn becomes consumer liability. The proposal has received mixed reviews based on the style of system, which makes use of expensive equipment and translates to added expense to customers. Rather than offering a proposal which is a win-win for everyone, the added tax only serves a small few of the casinos.


Community Development Coordinator Zeke Keeler presented the Council with the Silver Davey Award from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts for its website, which launched in the fall of 2016.


Mayor Kathryn Heider said: “A robust website integrated with social media is simply essential for Central City to tell the world about our wonderful community with our charming Victorian Main Street, colorful history, wonderful events and great businesses opportunities. We are very proud of our new website and are delighted with this award.


“Congratulations to our city staff for creating this award winning website, and thanks to Colorado Interactive and the Statewide Internet Portal Authority for their support.” The website can be found at


Central City is asking for volunteer participation at the annual clean-up day rescheduled for May 26. The city-wide effort begins at 9:30 a.m. in the Big T lot. Volunteers will enjoy a complimentary lunch, drinks and prizes.


(Originally published in the May 25, 2017 print edition of The Mountain-Ear.)