The Colorado Division of Gaming recently reported on the total numbers from the first year of legalized sports betting in the state. According to the report, the total sports betting handle went over the $2.3 billion mark, going way past expectations set before the industry launched.
Legal sports betting officially launched on May 1, 2020, at a time when most live sporting events were paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Retail sportsbooks were also shut down in an effort to stop the spread of the virus.
Online sportsbooks were up and running, and they carried the industry for the first few months. This is still the most popular way to bet on sports in Colorado, but retail sportsbooks have boosted the total numbers since the start of 2021.
Through the first 11 months, Colorado collected $5.6 million in tax revenue, and a large portion of this money will go to the Colorado Water Plan. Allocating money to the Colorado Water Plan helped convince voters to approve sports betting on the ballot.
According to a report, sportsbooks posted a total sports revenue of $148 million for the first year of legal sports betting in Colorado. After paying out winners and other fees, the total profit of these sports betting operators was $67 million.
This mark of $2.3 billion in total handle represents the third-highest total for any state with legal sports betting in the first 12 months. Both New Jersey and Illinois posted a better first year, and those are two of the top markets in the United States.
Colorado continues to see new sportsbooks enter the market, and the launch of new retail sportsbooks will also increase the overall numbers for the next 12 months. This state has been consistently in the top-seven betting markets since May 2020 and has climbed as high as top-five in some months.
The top professional sports in the United States brought in the largest numbers of wagers, but a surprising sport continues to be popular. Table tennis was a popular betting option during the pandemic and remains a top market with Colorado bettors.
January, March Biggest Months
2021 has already been a big year for the sports betting industry in Colorado, especially during the months of January and March. January brought in the highest total of sports betting handle, but March was not too far behind.
The total sports betting handle for Colorado for the month of January was $326.9 million, a mark that likely won’t be challenged until Fall 2021. During that month, sportsbooks also set a record-high with $23.1 million in total revenue.
After a disappointing February, the March 2021 total betting handle went back up over the $300 million mark for just the second time in history. Revenue for March was nearly $21 million, which is also the second-highest total for the state.
Online sports betting represented at least 97% of the total sports betting handle in both January and March, and that trend has been constant throughout the first year.