Sportsbooks in Colorado recorded strong figures in the first full month of legal sports betting.
Legal and regulated sportsbooks in the state of Colorado generated $946,741.34 in sports betting revenue in May, the first full month of legal sports betting in the state.
According to figures from the Colorado Limited Gaming Commission, bettors in the state wagered $25.6m on sports. This was slightly higher than the early figure of $25.5m that the Commission released at the start of June.
Colorado’s sports betting market went live on 1 May with the launch of four online sportsbooks during the coronavirus pandemic. On 1 May, DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers and BetMGM launched their online sportsbooks in the state. Monarch Casino Resort’s launched its BetMonarch app on 14 May, followed by Fox Bet a week later.
On the tax front, sportsbooks paid a combined $96,537.55 to the state.
What did people bet on?
The market was incredibly limited due to a lack of sporting events due to the coronavirus pandemic. Major leagues sports such as the NBA, MLB, and MLS were put on hold, while all major European soccer leagues were also suspended.
Due to this, table tennis was the most popular sports to bet on with customers betting $6.6m on these events, representing just over a quarter of the months handle. Mixed martial arts events came in second place after bettors wagered $1.7m.
Baseball was the third most popular sport to bet on with residents staking $1.6m on baseball events. Soccer events were the next most popular amongst bettors after $1.5m was wagered on these contests.
Outside of the four leading sports categories, other events were the most popular, accounting for $7.9m of the state’s total handle.
Division of Gaming director Dan Hartman said: “The Covid-19 pandemic, the closures of Colorado casinos, and cessation of professional sporting events were challenges the Division of Gaming could not anticipate when initially planning for the launch of legalized sports betting in Colorado
“Despite the unforeseen challenges the Division faced, the revenue results for May represent the culmination of all the hard work and effort the Division put into setting up this newly regulated industry for Coloradans.
“The total amount wagered in May of $25.6 million is an encouraging predictor of the potential for the Colorado sports betting landscape. It shows a bright future for the Colorado sports betting market.”
Sports betting in Colorado
The Centennial State narrowly legalized sports betting in November 2019 after voters approved the sports betting measure through a referendum.
Like New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Indiana, Colorado law allows sports bettors to register online accounts remotely from anywhere within state lines. When it comes to in-person wagering, only three towns in the state have been granted approval to offer in-person betting.
A total of 25 online sports betting licenses have been issued, 19 of which are for land-based sports betting operations.
Colorado’s casinos also began the process of reopening on 17 June after shutting down in mid-March. Upon the reopening of casinos in the state, the state’s first land-based sportsbooks opened at two casinos in Black Hawk.