Colorado Sports Betting Slumps In April On Tepid NBA Wagers

Written By Dan Holmes on 06/07/2023 - Last Updated on February 21, 2024
Colorado NBA wagers dip in April despite record month

Colorado sports betting handle plummeted in April, taking in $76.6 million less in wagers compared to March. A drop-off was expected as March Madness typically boosts betting.

But this year, a significant decline in pro basketball wagers looks to be the reason for April’s slump. This comes as a surprise after the Denver Nuggets secured the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

In both March and April, pro basketball was the most wagered sport. In March, sportsbooks took in $193 million in wagers, while they only collected $136.6 million in April. That’s a difference of $56.4 million. It’s unclear why there was such a significant drop in pro basketball bets in April.

The interest was still there, with the NBA selling out games and setting all-time records for attendance.

April sports betting numbers not all doom and gloom

When it comes to Colorado online sports betting, players have myriad of choices in The Centennial State. Twenty-six to be exact. Players can choose from more than two dozen online sportsbooks in Colorado, home to the most sportsbook apps in the US.

Wagers on NBA games were down compared to April 2022 as well. Colorado wagered about $9.8 million less on NBA games in April compared to a year ago. One explanation could be that the Nuggets had played only one playoff series this April, against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Nuggets were heavily favored. Expect more spirited sports betting in May.

The state’s sportsbooks reported a total handle of $417.8 million, compared to $494.4 million in March. It was a 6.5% increase over April 2022. Colorado sports betting revenue for April came in at $35.1 million, a year-over-year increase of $12.5 million. That made April 2023 the best April ever for Colorado sports betting total handle and revenue.

Parlay betting continues to be very popular in Colorado. More than 17% of bets in April were parlay bets, the most of any type of sports wager. Parlay wagers accounted for $73.1 million in total handle in April.

Colorado sports betting in April generates $2.5M in tax revenue

To date, Colorado has collected $43.8 million in taxes from sports betting. The Colorado sports betting market’s significant growth in its first year of operation generated substantial tax revenue for Colorado, with a portion of the funds allocated to support Colorado’s Water Plan.

From May 2020 to December 2020, Colorado received $3.4 million in tax revenue. For the 2021-22 fiscal year, the state received $12.4 million in tax revenue. Tax revenue from sports betting benefits public education spending in Colorado, responsible gaming programs, and the Water Plan measure. According to the Water for Colorado website,  $14.7 million has been funded for the implementation of Colorado’s Water Plan since 2020.

Colorado’s $2.5 million in taxes from sports betting in April is a decline of 16.7% from March. Despite the drop, Colorado budget analysts have projected that sports betting revenue could reach $24 million in 2023. That is double the revenue earned in the 2021-22 FY.

Sports betting records and growth in store for Colorado

In FY 2023, Colorado sports betting operators have taken in $4.48 billion in wagers. That handle is 8.2% higher compared to where the state was at the same time in 2022.

Colorado is on pace for more than $12 billion in total handle for fiscal year 2022-23, which would set a state record and match the total wagers accepted in the state in its first two years of sports betting combined.

Another familiar name may be joining the Colorado sports betting market soon. Fanatics has purchased PointsBet Sportsbook, which could mean the company will have access to the Colorado gaming market. It’s unclear whether Colorado regulators will require Fanatics Sportsbook to re-apply for its own sports betting operators license or if it will be rebranded under the existing sportsbook.  What this purchase means for the current PointsBet and Denver Nuggets partnership is still a mystery.

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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes writes about sports betting, sports media, and sports betting legislative matters. He's the author of three books, and previously reported for Major League Baseball, as well as the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

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