Colorado betting handle hits $2.34bn in first year of legal betting

Bettors in the state of Colorado have wagered $2.34bn on sports in the state’s first year of legal betting.

The Colorado Division of Gaming has revealed that bettors in the state of Colorado wagered $2.34bn on sporting events in the state’s first year of legal sports betting.

This in turn led to sportsbooks in the state reporting a combined gross gaming revenue of $148.1m for the 12 month period. 

Figures from the state’s Division of Gaming also showed that the state received $65.9m in tax during the first year of legal betting. 

Sports betting in Colorado

Colorado launched its sports betting market on 1 May 2020 and permitted both online and in-person wagering at land-based sportsbooks. 

Having launched in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, Colorado’s betting market got off to a tough start. In the first months of legal betting, players could only bet online and there was a major lack of sporting events to bet on due to cancellations across the globe.

With the return of major sports in August, Colorado’s betting market saw consistent month-on-month growth all the way through to January 2021.

Sports betting handle in Colorado hit an all-time high in January after bettors wagered $326.9m on sporting events. This, in turn, generated $23.1m in revenue for the state’s legal sportsbook operators, which was also the highest revenue figure for the year.

Sports betting handle dropped to $266.5m in February but managed to recover in March after bettors wagered $301m on sports. According to early figures, consumers have wagered $245.3m on sports in April.

Division of Gaming director Dan Hartman said: “The first year of sports betting exceeded our expectations, especially after we launched amid a worldwide pandemic that shuttered the casinos, the industry, and Colorado.

“Looking back on a year ago, I don’t believe any of us expected to be where we are with our numbers and our operations. Colorado is setting the benchmark for what a healthy, regulated legalized sports betting market can look like in the US, and we will continue to be known for our regulatory leadership.”

Basketball takes the top spot

When it comes to what people were betting on, basketball was the most popular sport to bet on in the state’s first year of legal betting.

According to the Division’s figures, basketball handle for the year amounted to $435.2m, representing 20.9% of all sports wagers during the period.

Football was the second most popular sport, with $383.5m in bets, and was followed by college basketball which accounted for $193.9m of the state’s year one handle.

Meanwhile, parlay and combination bets brought in $339.4m in sports wagers in Colorado’s first year of legal betting.

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