CO Casinos Have Sixth Consecutive Month With Year-Over-Year Growth

Written By Hill Kerby on 05/31/2024
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April was an average month for Colorado casinos. Despite its mediocre results, it continued a streak of annual growth in the state’s casino industry. 

The Centennial State’s three casino towns won $90.7 million in April, slightly less than their $90.9 million average in the 2024 Fiscal Year. However, the total was $93,991 (0.1%) more than in April 2023, marking six months with year-over-year growth.

Casino revenue fell month-over-month, though. Typically a slower month than its predecessor, April’s revenue fell by $5.3 million (-5.5%) from March, when casinos recorded nearly $96 million

Colorado slot revenue experiences a year-over-year drop

Despite the yearly gains, Colorado casino revenue appears closer to its ceiling than its floor. March’s $19,513 annual gains were even smaller than April’s. Furthermore, Colorado online casinos remain illegal, leaving another potential revenue stream on the sidelines.

Slot machines fueled April’s revenue, totaling $76.6 million. That number made up almost 85% of the state’s monthly revenue but fell by 1.4% from a year ago.

Cripple Creek casinos fared the best in April, celebrating 11.3% year-over-year growth. Black Hawk and Central City slot revenue went in the opposite direction.

  • Black Hawk: $56.7 million (-3.5%)
  • Cripple Creek: $13.6 million (+11.3%)
  • Central City: $6.4 million (-6.5%)

According to the Colorado Department of Revenue’s report, multi-denomination slots showed an annual improvement, but all major single-denomination slots yielded double-digit declines.

  • Multi-denomination slots: $36.9 million adjusted gross proceeds (21.8%)
  • 1-cent slots: $32.5 million (-21.8%)
  • $1 slots: $8.5 million (-11.6%)
  • 25-cent slots: $1.1 million (-24.6%)
  • 5-cent slots: $973,000 (-14.7%)
  • $5 slots: $720,000 (-27.6%)
  • High-denomination slots: $592,000 (-16.9%)

Table games carry the weight

Table games accounted for more than $14 million in April casino revenue. The total represented 9.4% year-over-year growth and was 3.2% better than March’s $13.6 million.

Black Hawk casinos reported 91% of the state’s table games revenue, totaling $12.8 million (+9.9%).

Cripple Creek reported double-digit growth and broke seven figures for the vertical. Its casinos generated just over $1 million (+11.9%) after winning $932,000 a year ago. Central City had just $216,000 in table games revenue (-18%).

Baccarat was the reason for most, if not all, of that growth. Casinos made nearly $3.3 million in baccarat in April, an all-time high since baccarat became legal in 2021.

  • Blackjack: $4.4 million in adjusted gross proceeds (-8.9%)
  • Baccarat: $3.3 million (+69.4%)
  • Craps: $2.1 million (+1%)
  • House-banked poker: $1.8 million (+11.5%)
  • Roulette: $1.4 million (+11.5%)
  • Player-banked poker: $1.1 million (-5.3%)

Keno revenue accounted for the remaining $11,723. This was $249 (2.1%) less than a year ago.

FY 2024 revenue nears $1 billion, taxes near $150 million

Two months remain in FY 2024, and Colorado casinos stay on pace to set all-time highs for revenue and taxes.

Casinos have reported $909.2 million in revenue for the current fiscal year. They are about $90.8 million shy of reaching $1 billion, which they hope to hit in May.

And while it may not sound like much, they are $2.4 million (0.3%) ahead of last year’s pace.

The state has also collected nearly $139.2 million in taxes during FY 2024, roughly $827,000 (0.6%) more than a year ago.

After administrative fees, most of that money goes to the state’s Limited Gaming Fund, which distributes resources in the following percentages:

  • 12% to gaming counties
  • 10% to gaming cities
  • 28% to the State Historical Fund for the preservation of historical sites in gaming cities and statewide 
  • 50% to state programs at the discretion of the General Assembly

Additional tax money may go to the Extended Limited Gaming Fund. That fund’s breakdown is as follows:

  • 78% for financial aid at in-state community, junior and district colleges
  • 12% to Gilpin and Teller counties, in proportion to the tax revenues generated within each county (Black Hawk and Central City are in Gilpin County; Cripple Creek is in Teller County)
  • 10% to Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek in proportion to the tax revenues generated within each town
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Hill Kerby

Hill Kerby is a proponent of safe, legal betting, and is grateful to be able to contribute to growing the industry. He has a background in poker, sports, and psychology, all of which he incorporates into his writing.

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