Colorado’s First Sports Betting Report Reveals ‘Bright Future’


More than 10 weeks after the first legal sports bet was placed in Colorado, the Department of Gaming released its first official sports wagering revenue report, showing that the state’s commercial mobile sportsbooks took in $25.6 million in handle. During the first month, four sportsbooks were live beginning May 1, while two others joined the fray mid-month.

There was little to bet on given the shutdown of major professional sports amid the COVID-19 crisis, so the first report is like none we’ll likely see going forward — $6.6 million was wagered on table tennis, followed by $3 million on parlays, about $1.6 million on MMA and baseball, $1.5 million on soccer and $1.3 million on golf. The biggest category, with $7.9 million wagered, is labeled “other.”

The payout to the state was $96,537.55, according to the release. State sportsbooks had a hold of about 3.6%, or $946,741.

In first month, Colorado on point with similar states

“The total amount wagered in May of $25.6 million is an encouraging predictor of the potential for the Colorado sports betting landscape,” Dan Hartman, director of the Division of Gaming said in a statement. “It shows a bright future for the Colorado sports betting market.”

For comparison, Indiana, which has about 1 million more residents than Colorado, had mobile handle of $37.3 million in May. Indiana sportsbooks went live with mobile sports betting in October 2019, and there are seven mobile/online books operating in the state.

To date, Colorado’s Limited Gaming Control Commission has approved 25 mobile/online licenses and 19 retail sportsbook licenses. Eight commercial operators are live with mobile platforms, and two retail sportsbooks are currently open — the DraftKings-operated book at the Mardi Gras Casino, and the sportsbook at the Saratoga Casino, operated by BetFred.

Colorado’s retail casinos closed for about three months due to COVID-19, so online sports wagering was the only gaming in the state during the month of May.

“The COVID-19 pandemic, the closures of Colorado casinos, and cessation of professional sporting events were challenges the Division of Gaming could not anticipate when initially planning for the launch of legalized sports betting in Colorado,” Hartman said in a statement. “Despite the unforeseen challenges the Division faced, the revenue results for May represent the culmination of all the hard work and effort the Division put into setting up this newly regulated industry for Coloradans.”

The report does not break down revenue by operator.


Jill has covered everything from steeplechase to the NFL and then some during a more than 30-year career in sports journalism. The highlight of her career was covering Oakland Raiders during the Charles Woodson/Jon Gruden era, including the infamous “Snow Bowl” and the Raiders’ 2003 trip to Super Bowl XXXVII. Her specialty these days is covering sports betting legislation across the country.

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