Sports betting pumps millions into Glenwood Canyon power plant

Colorado state Sen. Dylan Roberts, D-Frisco, is a big fan of sports betting.

Roberts says sports betting generated millions in tax revenue for rehab on the Shoshone Power Plant in Glenwood Canyon. His colleagues just approved nearly $50 million for 10 water projects statewide.

This November state lawmakers will put another sports betting question on the ballot, asking voters to approve even more tax money for water projects. Since 2021, when sports betting was legalized, Colorado Sun reports it has generated more than $43 million for water projects.

Water rights at the aging Shoshone plant are more than a century old, and repairs there are critical for millions of users downstream. The plant was recently purchased in a unique partnership between the Colorado Water District and Xcel Energy.

But $20 million is just a fraction of the nearly $99 million needed to rehab the plant. The river district is asking local governments that feed into the Colorado River, including Summit County, to pledge millions more.