Colorado Sports Betting Shatters Expectations
The Colorado Division of Gaming recently announced the totals for the first full year of legal sports betting in the state, and the results were much better than expected.
The industry got off to a slow start due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it didn’t take long for the Centennial State to emerge as one of the leaders.
Sports betting became legal in Colorado in November 2019 as a way to help bring in additional tax revenue for the state. The Colorado Water Plan is set to receive a portion of the funds, and that promise helped gain support for the industry.
Both online sports betting and retail were approved with the passing of the new constitutional amendment, but it has been mobile betting that has led the way. Retail betting is available at casinos located in the towns of Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek, but the ongoing pandemic has kept those properties from receiving much business.
The total sports betting handle for the first full year in the state of Colorado was more than $2.3 billion. This is the third-highest first-year total in the history of US sports betting, with New Jersey and Illinois posting more impressive numbers.
After launching on May 1, 2020, the total sports betting handle increased every single month until the trend was finally stopped in February. This report also acknowledged that nearly 98 percent of all bets placed during the first year of sports betting were made online.
There are 20 online sportsbooks already live in the state of Colorado, but that number will continue to grow with new betting operators throughout 2021 and beyond. 16 casinos have opened up a retail sportsbook, and there will be more of these options coming to the state as well.
For the first full year, sportsbooks posted revenue of $148.1 million, which amounted to nearly $67 million in profits. Sportsbooks continue to offer bonuses and promotions as a way to attract customers.
The state did not collect as much tax revenue as was once hoped, but it was still an impressive amount for the first year. Through the month of March, the state had received $5.5 million in tax revenue, and the April numbers have not yet been calculated.
April See Decrease in Numbers
In this report, the sports betting handle and revenue numbers for April were also revealed, and there was a drop, as expected. March is always a popular month in the sports betting industry as the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament brings in plenty of betting action.
The total sports betting handle in April was just $245.3 million, which was a drop of nearly 19 percent from the March figures. There was a revenue of $15.1 million in April, and sportsbooks performed well despite taking on fewer bets.
A complete report will be made available later this month after all of the reports are audited. This will detail how each sportsbook performed during the month and should help establish some trends as the state moves into the second full year of legal sports betting.
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