Colorado Sports Betting Handle, Revenue Keeps Going Up, Up, Up

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With the return of major professional sports in the United States and across the world, sports betting handle in Colorado continued to rise in July, according to the latest Colorado Department of Revenue Report. The total handle of $59.2 million is an increase of 55% over June’s handle of $38.1 million.

Though Major League Baseball’s Opening Day wasn’t until July 23, baseball was the most bet on sport in July, accounting for just over $9 million in wagers placed, followed by $7.6 million for soccer and $5.1 million for table tennis — which was the most bet on sport in Colorado and across the country during coronavirus shutdowns. Among other events, parlays accounted for $8.6 million in wagers while $4.8 million was bet on golf and $3.3 million on basketball.

Colorado regulators do not break down wagers by operator. The hold, referred to as “total win percentage” in the report, was 8.78%. The win percentage dipped slightly from the previous month when the hold in June came in at 9.14%.

CO nets more than $500,000 in revenue so far

For July, the state of Colorado realized $241,866.91 in Net Sports Betting Proceeds, bringing the state’s three-month total to $555,426. This is handle minus winnings and promotions, which are not taxed in Colorado. By the end of July, nine mobile/online commercial platforms were live in the state. Elite Sportsbook went online on Aug. 12, and the tribal Sky Ute digital platform is not taxed by the state. There are currently 15 brick-and-mortar sportsbooks taking wagers in Colorado, but according to the Department of Revenue, only eight were active during the July reporting period.

Colorado sports betting is playing out the way it has in other states with statewide mobile sports betting — the lion’s share of handle and, ultimately, revenue to the state, is coming in via digital wagering. In July, $58.6 million worth of wagers were placed online or on mobile devices, while only about $583,000 were placed in person. That means that about 99% of all wagers were placed on digital platforms, which could be attributed to COVID-19’s impact.

Colorado casinos reopened in mid-June following a lengthy closure in the face of the pandemic, but with numerous restrictions and at decreased capacity.

Coloradans legalized sports betting by voter referendum last November, and the new law mandated that sports betting be available in the state by May 1, 2020. Despite the pandemic disruptions,  four operators — BetMGM, BetRivers, DraftKings, and FanDuel — all launched on May 1. Since then, a wave of operators has gone live upon the return of pro sports.

All 33 commercial casinos in the state have been approved for sports betting, and when the market is fully open, Colorado will have more than 30 physical locations and digital platforms live.

 

 

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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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