Colorado Sports Betting Revenue Jumps 30% From May To $19.7M


Despite a dip in sports betting handle for June, operators across Colorado fared far better than in May, according to Tuesday’s release from the state’s Division of Gaming.

Operators reported more than $19.7 million in gross gaming revenue for June, an increase of 30.2% compared to May’s total of nearly $15.2 million. The hold for operators in June was 8.59%, in line with other states this month and 2.5 percentage points higher than May. That helped offset the 7.7% dip in handle to nearly $229.8 million in June versus more than $248.9 million the previous month.

The uptick in gross gaming revenue also resulted in a substantial increase in adjusted gaming revenue, as the $11.7 million from operators that could be taxed was nearly double May’s total of $5.9 million. Colorado’s tax coffers received $1,186,455 for June — the second-highest monthly total since launching in May 2020 and $9,289 shy of the record of $1,195,744 set in January.

Operators reported more than $8 million in promotional revenue for June, marking only the second time in eight months that figure was below $9 million. The adjusted gross revenue has totaled 47.6% ($50.6 million) of the $106.4 million in gross gaming revenue through the first half of the year, and Colorado has generated more than $1 million in sports betting tax revenue in four of the first six months of 2021 after failing to do so in any month in 2020.

Hoops drives handle, but house wins big in hockey

Basketball continued to lead the way in handle in the Centennial State, with bettors placing close to $74.9 million in wagers in June. That was down noticeably from the $86.9 million bet in May, but it still easily outpaced baseball, which set a new monthly record for handle with over $54.5 million wagered.

Local bettors placing wagers with their hearts over their heads likely contributed to operators posting an eye-popping 24.1% hold on hockey bets in June. The Colorado Avalanche jumped out to a 2-0 series lead on the Vegas Golden Knights after a 3-2 overtime victory in Game 2 on June 2, but the Golden Knights broke hearts across Colorado by winning the next four games.

All told, the house claimed more than $2.5 million in revenue on nearly $10.7 million wagered. The June handle also pushed the all-time total for hockey bets over the $100 million mark.

Table tennis, which reached that nine-figure milestone in May, continued to have staying power, as the nearly $8.7 million wagered in June ranked sixth among sports. The European Championships also generated interest across Colorado, as soccer handle reached eight figures for the first time, with more than $12.7 million wagered. Operators also posted a double-digit hold on those bets, with the 10.52% win rate resulting in more than $1.3 million going back to the house.

Unsurprisingly, parlays were the primary driver of operator revenue, as the house collected just shy of $5.4 million from more than $33.9 million wagered. The 15.95% hold for the month was barely above the all-time mark of 15.91% in the state, while the $73.5 million in all-time revenue from such bets accounts for more than 40% of the overall gross gaming revenue.

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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