Colorado Sports Bettors Can’t Get Enough Table Tennis

Posted on July 7, 2020

Who knew Colorado sports fans had such an affinity for a game made famous by Forrest Gump?

Table tennis has been the lone constant since sports betting launched in Colorado on May 1.

When you have no major US sports to bet on, that tends to happen.

But over the last month or so, the UFC has returned to The Octagon, the PGA to the links and NASCAR to the tracks.

Across the pond, English Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A have all returned to the pitch.

Can’t get enough table tennis

Despite the return of those sports, at least on BetRivers this weekend, Colorado sports bettors cannot get enough table tennis. In particular, Russian table tennis.

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Last week, it was odd not to see the UFC in the top 10 events that fans bet on at BetRivers. And that was with a UFC Fight Night and a potential Fight of the Year candidate.

Perhaps a trend was developing.

There is one, though, in a completely different direction. And it’s way more obscure.

Top 10 sports leagues BetRivers wagers last weekend

Sport/League Percentage of total wagering volume
Moscow Liga Pro (Russian table tennis)20.91%
US Pro Tennis Series (women's singles)19.18%
PGA Tour (tournament bets)15.09%
English Premier League 5.56%
PGA Tour (2 balls, 18 hole bets) 4.80%
Serie A (Italy) 4.67%
KBO (Korean Baseball Organization) 4.23%
La Liga (Spain)4.10%
NASCAR (Cup Series)4%
US Pro Tennis Series (men's singles)3.34%

Top 10 sports

Top 10 Sports Percentage of total wagering volume
Tennis 26.34%
Table tennis 22.84%
Golf 19.90%
Soccer 19.08%
Baseball 5.7%
Motorsports 4.02%
Basketball 1.16%
Australian Rules Football .51%
Rugby League .19%
Rugby Union.17%

Colorado bettors like golf

Two other items that stand out from this weekend’s BetRivers report — Colorado sports bettors do like to bet on golf and (real) tennis.

As we inch closer to the return of MLB, the NBA and NHL, it’ll be fascinating to see if this affinity for table tennis holds up.

Did the shutdown of major US sports unlock a hidden gem for Colorado and US sports bettors? Or is this a product of prospective bettors having nothing to bet on and simply needing some sort of distraction from the never-ending chaos?

What about the UFC?

The other factor to keep an eye on is the UFC.

As noted earlier, it was a surprise to not see it in last weekend’s top 10 at BetRivers.

With a stacked event this Saturday for UFC 251, if that happens again, it’s clear that bettors are not interested in the UFC.

Of course, if you’re looking for the next Forrest Gump, it’s hard to take your eyes off table tennis.

Ian St. Clair Avatar
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Ian St. Clair

Ian St. Clair is an award-winning sports journalist. He is a University of Northern Colorado graduate, Colorado native and has over a decade of experience covering college and professional athletics.

View all posts by Ian St. Clair