Baseball Steals Top Spot At CO Sportsbooks With $104.6M Handle In June

Written By Hill Kerby on 08/02/2023 - Last Updated on August 9, 2023
CO sports betting baseball

Colorado sportsbooks saw more downward motion in June, taking in $310.7 million in sports betting wagers for the month. This amounted to a $74.6 million decrease (-19.4%) from May’s $385.2 million.

Year-over-year handle roughly flatlined from June 2022’s $313.2 million (-0.8% YoY). Last June’s numbers were boosted by the Colorado Avalanche winning the Stanley Cup, while this year’s offset that action through improvements in several sports across the board.

A perfect storm for Colorado sportsbooks

A lack of football and college basketball has caused Colorado sports betting handle to fall every month since March, a common trend nationwide. However, April and May showed year-over-year growth before June’s numbers dipped.

As mentioned, the Avs’ first-round departure played a role: handle fell from $29.5 million a year ago to $4.6 million last month. The Denver Nuggets NBA Finals win offset some of that difference, as basketball handle rose from $44.1 million to $57.9 million.

Sports only tell a piece of the story, though, as Coloradans now find themselves with fewer online betting options moving forward. After having as many as 26 sportsbooks, the Centennial State offers 20, with four ceasing operations in June and July.

The first three shoes dropped on June 30, with Bally Bet, Maverick Sportsbook and Sky Ute Sportsbook independently shuttering operations on the same day. Bally Bet’s closure is temporary, with the company saying it will resume operations “later this year” on a new tech platform. PlayUp closed officially on July 27.

Undoubtedly, these were some of the smaller players in the field. Still, sportsbooks have their work cut out to continue growing their CO sports betting revenue amidst a shrinking number of operators.

Baseball handle back above $100M; table tennis remains popular

NBA Finals betting helped make basketball the far and away second-most bet on sport in June. However, baseball handle surpassed $104 million, accounting for 33.7% of all action.

Parlays, which can span multiple sports, made up another $69.7 million (22.4% of wagers), up 18.2% YoY.

Table tennis betting grew the largest percentage-wise, continuing a trend that became popular in 2020. Its $7.8 million handle grew by 86.6% from $4.6 million in June 2022, receiving more wagers for the month than hockey.

Other sports with significant increases included MMA, NCAA Baseball, and golf.

  • Baseball: $104.6 million (-1.8% YoY)
  • Parlays: $69.7 million (+18.2% YoY)
  • Basketball: $57.9 million (+31.4% YoY)
  • Tennis: $23.7 million (+1.3% YoY)
  • Soccer: $11.9 million (+15.9% YoY)
  • Golf: $9.7 million (+23.1% YoY)
  • Table Tennis: $7.8 million (+86.6% YoY)
  • Hockey: $4.6 million (-84.5% YoY)
  • MMA: $4 million (+42.8% YoY)
  • Football: $1.3 million (+19.8% YoY)
  • NCAA Baseball: $1.3 million (+24% YoY)

June tax bill plummets

Sportsbooks’ 3% June hold resulted in just $441,951 in taxes, a decrease of 80.1% from May’s $2.2 million. Coincidentally, bettors had an even stronger June 2022, where a 2.2% hold led to a $268,280 tax bill.

June’s taxes actually showed a 64.7% year-over-year increase, but it’s important to look at the bigger picture before celebrating these results as any kind of a win. Colorado sportsbooks have only failed to surpass $1 million in monthly taxes three times in the last 18 months, and two have come from June.

Bigger picture shows growth

May through August are the slowest sports betting months industry-wide, with July and August historically having the lowest betting volume each year in Colorado. However, these two months have also brought some of the most year-over-year growth.

Football season follows, where the Denver Broncos will provide ample opportunities to bet under new head coach Sean Payton.

June marked the end of the 2022-23 Fiscal Year, bringing with it annual increases in:

  • Handle: $5.18 billion (+7.5% YoY from $4.82 billion)
  • Revenue: $392.8 million (+39% YoY from $282.6 million)
  • Taxes: $25.6 million (+105.6% YoY) 

The next few months may not return high absolute numbers, but they will let us know how much more room Colorado has before reaching its sports betting ceiling. 

Photo by David Zalubowski/AP Photo
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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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