Handle, Revenue Continue to Rise For Colorado Sports Betting

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June sports betting handle in Colorado was up 49% over May, according to the most recent revenue report released by the Department of Revenue. Sportsbooks took in $38.1 million in wagers in June as compared to $25.6 million in May, the first month that sports betting was legal in the state. At the start of May, when sports betting went live in the state, only four mobile/online platforms and no retail sportsbooks were open.

By June 1, six online/mobile commercial books and one brick-and-mortar sportsbook were operational. By the end of June seven commercial online sportsbooks plus one tribal sportsbook (which doesn’t pay taxes) were all live. On the retail side, four sportsbooks are currently accepting bets — Wildwood, Lady Luck/Isle, Mardi Gras, and Saratoga — but only Betfred’s Saratoga-Black Hawk location was open in June.

The state of Colorado took in $217,023.40 in taxes and operators had $2.18 million in revenue, which the state refers to as Net Sports Betting Proceeds. This is handle minus winnings and promotions, which are not taxed in Colorado. While PGA Tour events, motor sports and European soccer were back in action, table tennis remained the most popular sport in terms of handle, with $9.1 million wagered. The next most popular sports by handle were soccer ($4.1 million), golf ($3.4 million) and MMA ($2.2 million).

More sports should equal a continued increase in wagers

The highest handle category on the report is listed as “other,” in which $10.5 million in bets were placed. The category consisted of wagers in rugby, ice hockey, snooker, NCAA future bets and several niche sports, according to a source from the Division of Gaming. Parlays accounted for $4.7 million in handle.

“The Division anticipates seeing another increase in total wagers in the coming months as additional offerings are made available to the Colorado bettor, and major sports leagues resume play,” reads the statement.

Major League Baseball opened its 60-game shortened season last week, and the NBA and NHL plan to re-start their seasons later this week. The NBA will tip off for the first time since March 11, when the league canceled two games after a player was diagnosed with COVID-19 and subsequently postponed the rest of the season.  NBA playoff-seeding games begin July 30 and the NHL will start its playoff-qualifying games on Aug. 1. The NBA Nuggets restart their season Aug. 1 against the Miami Heat and the NHL Avalanche get started Aug. 2 against the St. Louis Blues.

Colorado sportsbooks fared better overall in June than May — operators had a hold, or win percentage, of 5.69% in June as compared to 3.6% in May. The report does not break down wagering by operator, only by sport.

 

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Jill Dorson

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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