Sports betting numbers in Colorado continue to impress in the early days of the industry in the Mile-High State. The state’s sportsbooks saw $207.6 million wagered in September 2020, posting a record for the nascent legalized sports betting industry in the state.
The $200 million+ result was a 61% increase from August 2020, which saw $128.6 million in wagers. With the impressive result, Colorado has suddenly found itself in the top five of the largest betting handle states, showing how well the sports betting industry is doing in Colorado. Naturally, online sports betting continues to dominate the Colorado market as the global pandemic restricts customers to limited capacities at casinos or in many cases, remain closed.
“Mobile Betting continues to account for a majority of the total betting handle, with 98 percent of wagers made online and two percent of wagers placed at a retail location” according to a Colorado Department Revenue spokesperson.
Despite the state’s surge in sports betting in September, Colorado actually saw a negative net sports betting proceeds, due to more free bets and bonuses thanks to the return of the NFL in September.
Breaking Down Colorado’s September 2020 Numbers
On paper, up 61% in September is impressive on the back of US Open Tennis, NFL, the NBA and big numbers from the Kentucky Derby. However, delving deeper, the downside was betting “revenue” was under $4.2 million, with the Colorado state government’s share less than $70 000. Sports betting was originally introduced to generate up to $20 million in added revenue to help in paying for Colorado’s increasing water demands where a $100 million shortfall exists. Clearly, it will still be some time before the sport betting industry reaches its tax generation maturity.
The $3.76 million in gross online wagering revenue reflected a $3.79 million decrease in net sports betting proceeds, thanks to the increase in opportunities for the operators’ bonus offers to bettors signing-up for the first the first time.
Colorado’s top three betting sports by total wagers, across both online and land-based sportsbooks, in September 2020 were;
- Baseball surprisingly led the way in Colorado with $47.1 million.
- Basketball assisted by the ongoing NBA finals during the month, reported $37.7 million in handle.
- Football’s return led by NFL and college football betting bumped numbers up to $38.1 million. More than $36 million was returned to bettors in winning bets.
- Ice Hockey with $11.4 million was an increase on the previous month on the back of the NHL playoffs.
- Parlays accounted for $28.1 million, again though to be somewhat tied to the return of college and NFL football.
- Table Tennis, the staple of sports bettors during the closure of pro sports during the global pandemic lockdown, remains surprisingly strong with $5.3 million in wagers in the Mile-High State in August.
New Sportsbooks help build the Colorado Market
In September alone, 4 new online sportsbooks went live in the Mile-High State – theScore Bet, Betfred, SportsBetting.Com and William Hill. The new sportsbooks are all assisting in helping to grow the Colorado industry rather than spread the gaming dollar thinner.
According to expert sports betting industry analyst, Jessica Welman, the number of new operators has helped Colorado in catching up to Indiana in only its fifth month of full operation;
“The Colorado market will continue to sort itself out for the foreseeable future, and its growth prospects remain enormous as more and more operators enter,” Welman said.
“Illinois’ population will make it nearly impossible for Colorado to keep pace, but catching Indiana so quickly is impressive. In fact, Colorado’s race with Indiana remains among the most intriguing storylines of U.S. sports betting.” she concluded.