Colorado Clears $1 Billion In Sports Betting Handle Since Launch With Record December


Another month, another record sports betting handle in Colorado. And this one came with a milestone.

The Centennial State became just the fifth to surpass $1 billion in cumulative handle dating to the U.S. Supreme Court striking down PASPA in May 2018. The Colorado Department of Revenue reported Monday that more than $284.5 million in bets were placed in the month of December.

That was an increase of 23% on November’s handle of $231.2 million as bettors pushed the record higher for a seventh straight month since launching in May. December’s report marked the fourth consecutive month with a handle of at least $200 million.

Colorado joins Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Indiana among states that have surpassed $1 billion in total handle in their respective jurisdictions since the end of the federal law banning full-fledged wagering outside Nevada. Illinois is expected to join the club when its state’s gaming board releases November figures later this week.

“Hitting the $1 billion mark is a milestone event for the department, leading us to believe that the trust and competition in the industry are leading bettors from the black market to the regulated market,” said Dan Hartman, director of the Colorado Division of Gaming, in a statement. “We believe the legal marketplace is having and will continue to have a positive impact on Colorado.”

Operators generated more than $17.15 million in gross gaming revenue in December, resulting in a win rate of 6.03%. The state collected $531,490 in tax revenues from nearly $5.68 million in net sports betting proceeds and more than $3.42 million in collected taxes for 2020.

NFL rules roost in dollars bet, table tennis still popular

More than 98% of the December handle was generated via mobile betting, with $280.4 million in wagers placed online. Not including June’s numbers, when the Colorado Department of Revenue combined the retail and online handles, bettors placed nearly $1.13 billion worth of wagers online in 2020.

Betting on NFL games continued to be a substantial portion of Colorado’s overall handle with nearly $88.2 million bet in December, down slightly from November’s total of $88.4 million. Operators claimed slightly more than $5.1 million in revenue off those December wagers, resulting in a win rate of 5.79%.

As has been the case seemingly nationwide, operators in Colorado posted their best collective win rate and highest revenue totals in December on parlay bets. They finished just shy of $8.1 million in revenue from more than $46.4 million in bets placed, resulting in a 17.42% win rate.

Pro basketball finished second in handle among sports at nearly $42.9 million, while college basketball was also a popular draw at $35.2 million. Bettors nearly broke even betting on college hoops, with operators posting a win rate of only 0.28% as they collected less than $100,000 in revenue.

College football placed fourth in handle at slightly less than $15 million, while table tennis stubbornly refused to cede its top-five status with a handle of nearly $11 million. It was the second consecutive month bettors generated an eight-figure handle for the sport, though it was 11.7% lower than November’s handle of $12.4 million.

All told, bettors in Colorado have wagered more than $62.5 million on table tennis since the May launch.

Chris Altruda has been a sportswriter with ESPN, The Associated Press, and STATS over more than two decades. He recently expanded into covering sports betting and gambling around the Midwest.

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