Colorado Joins other US States Reporting Disappointing February Sports Wagering Results
- Like all US states, February’s decline was due to fewer calendar days & football ending
- The good news is solid NBA & NCAA basketball betting plus shocking interest in table tennis
- Online wagering dominated at 97% & likely predicted to remain during the COVID-19 period
Perhaps more disturbing was that revenue from all sports wagering was $10.4 million in February. That figure was down from Colorado’s all-time single-month revenue record of $23.1 in January. The state obtained taxes of $333,227 during the month.
Like all legalized sports betting states, the Centennial State had to accept 28 days in February instead of the customary 30 to 31 day wagering period. Most significant was the end of both the NFL and NCAA football season, a sport that is quite popular in Colorado. Despite Super Bowl LV included in February, it equated to approximately $50 million lost in betting handle vs. the previous month.
Basketball and Table Tennis Continue to Thrive
The good news is that interest in both NBA and NCAA basketball continued to be strong, with $135 million. Of that NBA took the top with $95 million in wagers and the NCAA second with $24 million in bets. That captured a bit over 50% of all sports wagering handle for February. NBA betting ranked #1 for the second consecutive month.
NBA games took over the top spot in February from the NFL, with $95 million in wagers. After the Super Bowl, NCAA basketball was third with $24 million in bets. Colorado’s betting numbers are likely getting boosted with extra interest by the home-team Denver Nuggets, who are having a good season thus far.
The most amazing phenomenon in Colorado this year has been interesting for bettors toward table tennis wagering. It ranked fourth in the sports category with an impressive $13 million. It beat out NHL hockey in fifth place with $9 million in the betting handle. The unique trend in Colorado sustaining table tennis betting is worthy of a researched survey.
Online Wagering Continues to Dominate
Also, not surprising was how online wagering continued to dominate almost all sports betting in Colorado. With most US states reporting figures upward of 90% online in recent months, Colorado might have set an informal record with 97% mobile betting during February. But still, even with the high online percentage, the total handle in February reflected a 19% drop from January’s $319.4 figure.
Only 3% of all sports betting was done retail onsite in the state’s casinos in Cripple Creek, Central City, and Black Hawk.
The split results were obviously affected by the continued presence of COVID-19 but Colorado officials were optimistically happy reviewing the end results. Dan Hartman, Director of the Colorado Division of Gaming said in a statement:
One year ago, we were talking about the casinos in Colorado shutting down due to the pandemic. This March, in comparison, we’re looking forward to a new outlook for the gaming industry, given the open sportsbook retail locations and multiple online options. Add in the March Madness championships, and we believe all of these factors will continue the growth trajectory that we see with sports betting in Colorado.
State Sports Betting Rankings
While sports betting handle and revenue cannot be fairly ranked state to state due to population difference and state wagering rule judgments, Colorado slipped out of the “Top Five” in February.
New Jersey maintained its leadership position in February with $743 million in the handle but a significant drop off after almost reaching a billion dollars in December. Nevada was second with $554 million during the month followed by Pennsylvania with $509.5 million.
With their first full month of legalized sports wagering, Michigan came in fourth at $301.8 million in handle with Indiana just inching out Colorado for the fifth spot with $273.9 million.
Like all US states, March and the March Madness of the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament included will help Colorado “rebound” to figures similar to January results and perhaps even better.
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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.
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