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18-10-101. Legislative declaration - construction


(1) It is declared to be the policy of the general assembly, recognizing the close relationship between professional gambling and other organized crime, to restrain all persons from seeking profit from gambling activities in this state; to restrain all persons from patronizing such activities when conducted for the profit of any person; to safeguard the public against the evils induced by common gamblers and common gambling houses; and at the same time to preserve the freedom of the press and to avoid restricting participation by individuals in sport and social pastimes which are not for profit, do not affect the public, and do not breach the peace.

(2) All the provisions of this article shall be liberally construed to achieve these ends and administered and enforced with a view to carrying out the declaration of policy stated in subsection (1) of this section.


Source: L. 71: R&RE, p. 477, 1. C.R.S. 1963: 40-10-101.


Editors note: This title was numbered as chapter 40, C.R.S. 1963. The substantive provisions of this title were repealed and reenacted in 1971, resulting in the addition, relocation, and elimination of sections as well as subject matter. For amendments to this title prior to 1971, consult the Colorado statutory research explanatory note beginning on page vii in the front of this volume. For a detailed comparison of this title, see the comparative tables located in the back of the index.

Editors note: This title was repealed and reenacted in 1971. For historical information concerning the repeal and reenactment, see the editors note following the title heading.

Cross references: For the power of municipalities to regulate gambling, see 31-15-401 (1)(o).


Annotators note. Since 18-10-101 is similar to former 40-10-3, CRS 53, and laws antecedent thereto, relevant cases construing those provisions have been included in the annotations to this section.

This article prohibits gambling, the keeping of a place where gambling is commonly carried on, the keeping at such place, and exhibiting of gambling devices, and the betting of money or other property upon the results of any game. Everhart v. People, 54 Colo. 272, 130 P. 1076.

The legislative intent of this section is to prevent public gambling, and includes the risking of money or anything of value between two or more persons, on a contest of either chance, skill, or hazard, where one must be the loser and the other the gainer. Everhart v. People, 54 Colo. 272, 130 P. 1076 (1913).

The declaration of this section evidences a continuation of the policy against gambling for profit in Colorado. Condado Aruba Caribbean Hotel, N.V. v. Tickel, 39 Colo. App. 51, 561 P.2d 23 (1977).

Golf match not gambling. A golf match, participated in and bet on by four golfers, in which each of the four, by his playing, had control over the outcome did not constitute gambling as defined in 18-10-102 (2). Berckefeldt v. Hammer, 44 Colo. App. 320, 616 P.2d 183 (1980).

Social gambling specifically allowed. This section changed the common law and specifically exempted social gambling from the ambit of forbidden conduct. Houston v. Younghans, 196 Colo. 53, 580 P.2d 801 (1978).

Social gambling is game incidental to bona fide social relationship, participated in by natural persons in no way connected to professional gambling. Houston v. Younghans, 196 Colo. 53, 580 P.2d 801 (1978).

Gambling debts owed to a for-profit gambling business are still unenforceable in this state, despite the repeal of former C.R.S. 1963, section 40-10-13. Condado Aruba Caribbean Hotel, N.V. v. Tickel, 39 Colo. App. 51, 561 P.2d 23 (1977).

The declaration of this section does not support the contention that, although gambling is illegal and against public policy when it occurs in Colorado, it would not be contrary to public policy to enforce gambling debts incurred where gambling is legal. To the contrary, in the above legislative declaration there is a policy restraining any activities related to gambling conducted for profit, when not specifically sanctioned by statute, including collection of any gambling debts. Condado Aruba Caribbean Hotel, N.V. v. Tickel, 39 Colo. App. 51, 561 P.2d 23 (1977).

This section commands that the act be liberally construed. Bridge v. People, 63 Colo. 319, 165 P. 778 (1917).

Because of this section, care need be exercised that neither by illogical construction nor by loose language this article be so circumscribed as to defeat its purpose and usefulness. McBride v. People, 126 Colo. 277, 248 P.2d 725 (1952); Patterson v. People, 138 Colo. 368, 333 P.2d 1047 (1959).

This section declares that the definitive statute shall be liberally construed for the detection and punishment of offenders. Fischer v. People, 138 Colo. 559, 335 P.2d 871 (1959); Patterson v. People, 138 Colo. 368, 333 P.2d 1047 (1959).

State gambling legislation did not preempt municipal ordinance. Woolverton v. City County of Denver, 146 Colo. 247, 361 P.2d 982 (1961), overruled insofar as it invalidated the theory of mutual exclusion where it related to matters of both state-wide and local interest in Vela v. People, 174 Colo. 465, 484 P.2d 1204 (1971), which held that in strictly local and municipal matters ordinances of home rule cities apply to the exclusion of state statutes.