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Although they’ve barely begun, Colorado is quickly making its way toward potentially being one of the US top five sports wagering states.
For the ninth consecutive month, Colorado bettors sent the industry in their state to record-handle-highs in January. They also passed the plateau over the $300 million marks for the first time. Overall, more than $1.5 billion in wagers has been placed in Colorado since the state initially legalized sports gambling last May according to the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Division of Gaming.
It was reported last week that Colorado sportsbooks combined generated a record-$326.9 million in bets in January. The record month eclipsed December’s then-record handle of $284.6 million by an impressive 14.9% and crossed over the $300 million marks for the first time ever.
Most crucially for sportsbook operators, gross gaming revenues (GGR) for all Colorado sports wagering achieved a new record as well with $34.1 million in profits. The figure is substantially higher than a December of $17.1 million and beats the previous existing monthly record of $18.4 million in November 2020. Net betting revenue for January $11.7 million, also a large increase from $5.7 million back in November.
A major $1.2 million in tax contributions for Colorado state and local funding was accomplished in January. The figure more than doubled the amount in December of $531,489. A 125% increase according to the Department of Gaming.
Echoing other United States sports wagering reports including New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Illinois, mobile wagering is dominant in Colorado. Beyond COVID-19’s obvious effect, online wagering seems apparent to be a continuing trend into the future.
It was apparent as any other state in January where Colorado racked up an incredible $319.4 million online of their $329.8 total sports wagering handle. That is an unofficial record of a 98% portion coming from mobile betting apps and a whopping 13.9% increase in only one month from December. Online revenues were set at $22.7 for the month of January.
Colorado retail (onsite) wagering outlets, including many which are located in remote Rocky Mountain locations, did contribute a nice $7.5 million to the state’s overall total. The figure was up from $4.1 in December but is still quite small compared to online sports wagering dominance in the state.
Breaking down individual sports NBA basketball led the way in January, providing $88.3 million of the month’s total handle. Reduced to strictly playoff action, NFL football was next with $75 million in bets. That could be potentially reversed in February with the Super Bowl accounting for a large amount of play.
Following those came NCAA college basketball producing $39.9 million but the shocker among the rest was “table tennis” accounting for a stunning $11.8 million in Colorado wagering during January. Thus far table tennis seems to be a local betting favorite that began when the state legalized wagering and has remained on board since.
In terms of comparison, Colorado is now ranked the sixth-largest in the US, losing its fifth spot last month to newcomer Illinois, who recorded a $348 handle in January. These placements are relative due to market size and often involve state adjudicated wagering policies.
Looking at their continued progress, it is safe to assume that Colorado will remain among the top state markets for sports wagering handle and revenue. February’s numbers are expected to be excellent and then March even better with “March Madness” of the NCAA College Basketball Tournament included.
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Larry Gibbs is both a seasoned journalist and a respected online gaming industry consultant. His wry commentary & sharp analysis have appeared in numerous top gaming and sports wagering publications. He has also served as Vice President of US Gaming Services, a marketing research organization with 15 years of experience in US online wagering. He has spoken at noted gaming industry conferences including G2E, GiGSE, and NCLGS.
Email: [email protected]
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