Colorado Continues High September Handle Totals; Clears $207M


The state of Colorado continued its rapid progress toward becoming one of the most active U.S. sports betting markets, posting a handle of nearly $207.7 million in the month of September according to the state’s Department of Revenue release Friday.

The figure is in line with multiple states — including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Indiana — recording record handles thanks to a jam-packed sports schedule in September. The Centennial State, though, also approached its cumulative handle from the first four months of legalized sports betting. From May through August, Colorado sportsbooks generated a total handle of nearly $251.6 million, and September’s figure was an increase of 61.4% from August’s handle of more than $128.6 million.

As the handle has climbed higher each month, the hold has dropped lower. Sportsbooks generated a net revenue of less than $4.2 million, resulting in a hold of only 2.01%. The state received just under $70,000 in taxes from that revenue and has collected more than $814,000 since sportsbooks began accepting legal wagers May 1.

Nearly $203.9 million of handle was generated through mobile and online wagering, accounting for 98.2% of all bets placed. The Department of Revenue does not break out handle by sportsbook, and there are 15 mobile/online operators in Colorado, including FanDuel, DraftKings, BetRivers, and FOX Bet.

The NFL enters the chat; savvy baseball bettors

Baseball took honors for highest handle — the $47.1 million in wagers were more than double the $22.8 million from August — but the National Football League proved plenty popular as it generated a $38.6 million handle for its first month of games. Centennial State bettors also were highly successful betting on baseball last month, reaping a profit of more than $3.1 million as the hold for sportsbooks was -6.46% in that sport.

The books, though, filled that gap and more against the public thanks to parlays. Nearly $28.2 million was wagered in such fashion, and the 13.89% hold resulted in the house making a profit of more than $3.9 million.

Basketball ($37.8 million) and hockey ($11.5M) rounded out the top four sports for handle, with the latter handle slipping 18.5% from August in part due to the Avalanche being eliminated from the NHL playoffs on Sept. 4. Table tennis continues to be a surprising draw for Colorado bettors, placing fifth among sports wagered upon with a handle of nearly $5.4 million, an increase of 15.76% compared to August.

Bettors also narrowly came out ahead on MMA wagering and what the Department of Revenue lists as “Other,” while sportsbooks posted their best margins on golf and soccer.

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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