Colorado Sportsbooks See Another Increase In Handle

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Handle in Colorado continued to rise in November as the state’s sportsbooks took $231.2 million in wagers, more than $20 million more than they did in October, according to a report released by the Department of Revenue on Tuesday. Sportsbooks have been live in Colorado since May 1, when four launched during a dead period for U.S. professional sports. November’s handle is more than eight times May’s $25.6 million.

The total is a new record for sportsbooks, which had gross gaming revenue of about $18.4 million. The Department of Revenue took in $793,820 in revenue on the month. While that number may seem low, it is because sports betting is still relatively new to Colorado and operators have continued offering an enormous amount of promotions, particularly around big events. Colorado does not tax operators on promotional play.

Not surprisingly, football was the most popular sport to bet on, with $88.5 million wagered on the NFL and $22.3 million wagered on college football. Table tennis remains remarkably popular among Colorado bettors, who laid down $12.4 million in bets on the sport.

Table tennis was the top sport bet during the height of pandemic lockdowns, and there was some question as to whether interest would hold once professional sports were back on track. Table tennis was the fifth-most popular sport to bet on in October when Major League Baseball, the NFL, NCAA football, and the NBA were available to wager on. In November, football was the only U.S. professional sport being played.

Coloradans have more and more operators to choose from

Parlays and “other” continued to fare well — the November handle for parlays was just under $40.4 million and handle for “other” was just under $31.5 million.

Colorado’s Department of Revenue does not break down its revenue report by operator, but about 20 are up and running as compared to four on May 1 when BetMGM, BetRivers, DraftKings, and FanDuel all launched. The latest entry was PointsBet, which went live online in Colorado on Nov. 19. Penn National’s Barstool Sports went live with its retail sportsbook at the Ameristar-Black Hawk in early November with plans to launch its online platform in 2021.

State sportsbooks had a total win percentage of 7.94% in November, down from 8.26% in October. Retail sportsbooks in November operated at limited capacity and represented only $4.4 million in wagers, as compared to $226.9 million online.

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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