Legal sports betting in Colorado has recorded an all-time high in sports betting handle in January 2021, smashing through the $300 million mark for the first time.
The state has seen total sports betting handle increase in each of the nine months since sports betting was legalized in Colorado on May 1 last year. More than $1.5 billion in online and bricks-and-mortar sportsbook wagers have been made since then, according to figures released the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Division of Gaming, the official state gaming regulator.
More than $284.5 million was wagered in December 2020, up from the $231 million in sports betting handle previously reported in November.
Overall, sports bettors in Colorado co-operated in accumulating $326.9 million in legal sports wagers for the month of January 2021.
Monthly gross gaming revenue also set a fresh record in January. Sportsbooks took in $22.7 million, up from $17.2 million in December and beating the previous record of $18.4 million set in November. January’s gross gaming revenue yielded $11.7 million in net sports betting proceeds, up from $5.7 million in November as the industry matures in Colorado and less first-time better promotions are being claimed.
Colorado’s Record Sports Betting Numbers Broken Down
The State Government collected $1.2 million in taxes generated from sports wagers in January with the Colorado Water Plan the largest beneficiary. The money raised from sports betting in Colorado will be critical will assisting in the state’s agricultural industry to be more resilient to climate change and help lawmakers in preparing the water needs for anticipated future population growth. Some of the taxes generated will also go towards behavioral health services and help fund a hotline for problem gamblers.
The record-breaking month of Colorado sports betting handle saw huge sports wagering support for the NBA in its first full month of the season, NFL during the extended play-off games for 2020/21, College Football and their final Bowl Games at the start of January, the beginning of the NHL season and of course, College Basketball.
The top 5 sports for Colorado went as follows;
- NBA – $88.3 million
- NFL – $75 million
- NCAA basketball – $39.8 million
- Table tennis – $11.8 million
- NHL – $9.6 million
Of the other sports, soccer piled on $6 million in wagers, while NCAA football and the UFC finished the month with more than $3 million of handle on each. Tennis (mostly Australian Open Futures) and golf finished with $2.9 million and $1.7 million, respectively.
How High Can Colorado Sports Betting Go?
Of course, exponential growth cannot keep going forever, but Colorado sports betting is still in its ‘dawn phase’ and has a long way to go before reaching maturity. Currently, Colorado is the sixth-largest market in terms of handle, behind fifth-ranked Indiana, which generated $348.2 million in January and will possibly drop to seventh after Michigan reports its first full month in February. However, no other state has evolved at the speed of Colorado.
According to some leading sports wagering industry analysts, Colorado sports betting has the potential to record as much as $3 billion in handle for the 2021 calendar year. Jessica Welman, one of the leading Colorado sports betting industry experts, put the figures under the microscope;
“What’s really stuck out is just how relentless Colorado’s growth has been. Every month we get new data. Every month sportsbooks set a new state record. There has been no letup regardless of what has happened with sports schedules during this pandemic. Growth is the rule in just about every legal jurisdiction, but none have had such a long, consistent upward trajectory.” Welman said, almost in disbelief at the Mile-High State’s continued growth arc.