Colorado became the sixth state to clear $2 billion in sports betting handle in the post-PASPA era Tuesday when the state’s Dept. of Revenue reported a handle just shy of $301 million for the month of March.
The Centennial State joined Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Illinois in the select club, with Colorado reaching the milestone in just 11 months since launching May 1. The handle for March was the second-highest total recorded, trailing only the $326.9 million in January.
It was also a 12.9% month-over-month increase compared to February’s handle of $266.5 million, though February is considered a softer month for handle due to fewer wagering days and the Super Bowl being the only NFL game played that month.
“These large totals posted month-over-month show us that Coloradans are embracing this new form of entertainment,” said Dan Hartman, director of the Division of Gaming, in a statement. “We look forward to what will emerge in the market moving forward, as more and more sporting leagues resume a regular schedule of play and what that will translate into returns for Coloradans.”
Operators generated nearly $20.4 million in gross gaming revenue for the month, resulting in a hold of 6.77%. Between promotional play and carryover from last month, the net sports betting proceeds totaled $10.6 million, which resulted in nearly $1.1 million entering the state coffers. It was the second time the monthly tax receipts exceeded $1 million, and the state has collected nearly $5.6 million since May.
Buffaloes provide March Madness boost
Aided by Colorado reaching the second round of the NCAA tournament, basketball proved to be wildly popular for bettors in March. Nearly $71 million was wagered on college hoops — almost double February’s total of $39.5 million — and operators collected nearly $4.4 million in revenue.
Pro basketball, which also has a marquee draw in the Denver Nuggets, became the first category to draw a nine-figure handle for a single month as nearly $107 million was wagered. Bettors recouped a good portion of their wagers as operators posted a paltry win rate of 1.91% that resulted in slightly more than $2 million in revenue.
Hockey also set a monthly record for handle at just over $13.7 million, with operators clearing $1 million in revenue for a month in that sport for the first time. Tennis ($10.9 million) and mixed martial arts ($3.5 mm) also set new monthly standards for handle, and table tennis remained popular with more than $8.8 million in wagers.
In fact, the somewhat obscure sport could reach $100 million in handle for the 12 months since launch if Coloradoans make $9 million worth of wagers in April.
Most of operators’ gross gaming revenue came via parlays, where they posted a win rate of 14.07% and generated more than $7.8 million on nearly $56 million bet. In the last six months, parlay revenue has accounted for more than $46.5 million of the nearly $106.9 million in gross gaming revenue, which comes to 43.5% of all operator-generated GGR.