Colorado Sportsbooks Top $125M In August Handle


Sports betting handle continued its upward climb in the Rocky Mountain State, according to the Colorado Dept. of Revenue’s latest report. Handle reached $128.6 million in August, a 117% jump compared to July. Basketball led all sports in terms of bets placed at $38 million.

Sports betting operators went live in Colorado on May 1, and every month since handle has shown big gains — from $25.6 million in May to $38.1 million in June to $59.2 million in July. That means that August’s handle is about five times what it was in May.

August marked the first full month during which three of the four U.S. major professional sports leagues were back in action. Both the NBA and NHL played postseason games while Major League Baseball was in the midst of its 60-game regular season. College football also kicked off in late August, though the NFL didn’t open until Sept. 10. The addition of a full offering of college and pro football should push September’s number even higher.

Basketball, baseball, hockey most wagered sports

Behind basketball, bettors wagered $22.8 million on baseball and $13.6 million on the NHL in August. Bettors wagered $22.7 million on parlays and $13.8 million on “other.” Table tennis, the most popular sport by wager during the stiffest times of COVID-19 restrictions, dropped to fourth in popularity in August with $4.5 million wagered.

Though Colorado retail casinos and sportsbooks reopened in mid-June, $126.7 million in August wagers were placed online, following with a national trend of more and more wagering happening online vs. at retail casinos as COVID-19 restrictions continue in many states. As of the end of August, roughly a dozen mobile platforms were available to Colorado bettors.

The state took in $189,461 in tax revenue based on a 10% tax rate.

Coloradans legalized sports betting in November 2019 and mandated that operators go live by May 1, 2020. The Dept. of Revenue launched four operators online/mobile — DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and BetRivers — on that first go-live date. When the market is fully open, there will be more than 30 digital platforms in operation.

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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