Three of Colorado's historic gold-mining towns are still home to riches — but these days, it's from casinos in Cripple Creek, Central City and Black Hawk.
In 1859, prospector John H. Gregory panned nearly $1,000 of gold dust from a gulch 40 miles west of Denver in what became known as “The Richest Square Mile on Earth.” Indeed, the hills surrounding the towns of Central City and Black Hawk yielded tons of the precious metal, and fortune seekers hoping to share the bonanza descended on the region. A century and a half later, visitors still venture here looking for "gold."
Colorado has several gaming venues that range from intimate parlors to enticing resorts, such as those in Central City and Black Hawk. Less than an hour’s scenic drive from Denver, both became booming towns during the gold rush. Visitors tempt Lady Luck at limited-stakes blackjack, craps, roulette and poker tables as well as slot and video machines in 26 casinos. Farther south, Cripple Creek, another gold-mining-turned-gambling town, is tucked in the mountains an hour from Colorado Springs with 16 casinos.
In 2009, the state’s casinos increased betting limits to $100, added new games and began operating 24 hours a day. In addition to the excitement of gambling, each destination offers fine dining, luxurious hotels and, most importantly, authentic slices of history. Casino revenue has helped preserve and restore the towns’ 19th-century charms, as well as more than 600 other historic properties across Colorado.
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Four Corners Region
Both of Colorado’s American Indian gaming areas are found near the history-rich Four Corners region in the southwestern part of the state. Table games, slots, year-round events and other offerings lure the lucky to the Sky Ute Casino Resort in Ignacio and the Ute Mountain Casino in Towaoc.