Coloradans Still Loving Ping Pong As April Sports Betting Revenue Report Reveals Strong Market

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Colorado bettors sure love their table tennis. A year after sports went dark and Colorado launched four digital sports betting operators, the Department of Revenue released its April revenue report — allowing for a picture of the first 12 months of legal wagering — and it revealed nearly $100 million wagered on ping pong over the past year.

Bettors wagered $244,446,760 overall in April, bringing the 12-month handle to $2,324,644,867.  Colorado is one of four states to pass the $2 billion threshold in the first 12 months of having legal, live sports betting after the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was overturned on May 14, 2018.

Nevada beat all other states its first 12 months for live sports betting post-PASPA, bringing in about $5.2 billion in handle. Illinois bettors laid down $2.97 billion in wagers in the 12 months after operators went live on March 9, 2020, and New Jersey bettors wagered nearly $2.96 billion in the 12 months following operators’ go-live date of Aug. 1, 2018.

The fact that Colorado is in the top four is — and has been consistently — somewhat stunning, considering it has a population of about 5.8 million, compared to 12.7 million in Illinois and 8.9 million in New Jersey. Nevada has the smallest population of any of the top four sports betting states by handle at about 3.1 million, but it has the advantage of being a longtime destination with a huge influx of tourists.

Handle down in April; basketball king

In April, during which handle was down from $300,990,840 in March, digital wagering accounted for nearly 99% of all wagers made. There are 20 mobile/online platforms operating in the state, compared to four — BetMGM, BetRivers, DraftKings, and FanDuel — when Colorado’s launch began on May 1, 2020. There are 17 retail sportsbooks operating in Colorado, up from 13 in December. The most recent entry is BallyBet, which launched May 24.

April’s handle was the fifth highest of the last 12 months, behind January ($326 million), March ($300 million), December ($284 million), and February ($266 million).

Table tennis was the fourth most-bet-on sport and accounted for $8.9 million in total bets. The 12-month total is $99,983,908 bet on table tennis, which is played professionally in Russia and several other countries.

Basketball attracted the most April wagers, with bettors laying down $84.2 million, followed by baseball ($48.2 million), and hockey ($10.6 million). Soccer rounded out the top five with $8.7 million in bets placed. The state took in $1,082,610 in tax revenue for April, bringing the 12-month total to $6,634,331.

Parlays and combinations continued to hold strong interest for bettors, accounting for $42.9 million in wagers.

Sportsbooks posted a 7.19% hold in April, above the 12-month average of 6.34%.

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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