Anticipated April Decrease Hits Colorado Sports Betting Totals

Written By Ken Pomponio on 05/27/2022
Colorado April 2022 sports betting revenue

As the weather heats up, sports betting volumes typically go down.

That certainly played out in Colorado in April.

Coming off a massive March, the Centennial State’s sports betting handle dipped to $392.3 million. That was down 22.4 percent from March’s $505.6 million total — the second-highest monthly handle in the state’s history.

The April statistics from Colorado’s retail and online sportsbooks were released Friday by the Colorado Department of Revenue.

Colorado’s handle so far ranks sixth nationally among the states who have released their April totals.

Without football or the high-volume first weekend of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament to lead the way, April’s dip was a fully anticipated one.

Still, in comparison with 2021, Colorado sports wagering remains on its game.

April 2022 handle up 60.5 percent from a year ago

The most telling figures remain the state’s year-over-year growth.

And it most definitely remains on the upswing.

Colorado’s April sportsbook handle was up a full 60.5 percent from the $244.4 million total in April 2021.

In fact, only four months from 2021 topped the April 2022 total.

That growth is mirrored in the fiscal year figures as well.

Fiscal year total wagers for the current July 2021-April 2022 period, are $4.1 billiona whopping 83.2 percent increase from the total handle from same period in 2020-21.

Overall, April 2022 goes down as the month with the eighth-highest volume in Colorado’s now complete 24-month sports betting history. It’s also the highest handle from any April-through-August month on the all-time state revenue scoreboard.

Tax revenues show yearly increase as well

Centennial State sportsbooks garnered $22.6 million in gross revenue from April’s wagers. That’s up 28.5 percent from $17.6 million in April 2021 but down 20.1 percent from March’s $28.2 million total.

Promotions and federal taxes whittled sportsbooks’ net sports betting proceeds to $11.5 million. 

With the state’s sports betting tax rate of 10 percent, that yielded $1.2 million in state tax revenue.

A year ago in April, Colorado collected $1.08 million in sportsbook taxes.

Like the above, that makes April 2022 the state’s No. 1 out-of-prime-season (April-August) sports wagering tax revenue month over the last two years.

NBA leads way once again

The Denver Nuggets’ postseason stay lasted only five games.

But that didn’t stop the NBA from topping Colorado’s individual sport betting handle list at $146.4 million. 

Pro basketball betting has paced the state in all four months so far this year, generating at least $146 million in wagers each time out.

With the MLB season getting off to a late start due to the winter lockout, baseball was a distant runner-up with a $69.9 million April handle in Colorado.

Ice hockey, buoyed by the Stanley Cup-favorite Colorado Avalanche, was next in line with a $26 million handle.

Tennis ($22.1 million) and soccer ($15.6 million) round out the top five.

Here’s a glance at the top 10 sports in terms of Colorado April handle:

SportHandleRevenueState Tax
Pro Basketball$146,433,011$4,363,912$242,250
NCAA Basketball$8,990,792-$494,862-$26,691

Laid-back summer in forecast

Last year in Colorado, the late spring and summer months didn’t produce a sports betting handle north of $250 million.

Perhaps an Avs’ run into the Stanley Cup Finals — or sudden reversal of fortune for the last-place Colorado Rockies — will provide the state with a mini, early-summer surge.

But it’s expected to be fairly quiet until the NFL and college football kick things off in September.

“Sportsbooks tend to shift their focus during the warmer months,” analyst Eric Ramsey said. “Parlay betting on sports like baseball and golf won’t drive football-like volume, but those wagers can be enormously profitable for sportsbooks. 

“And sportsbooks tend to get creative in finding ways to keep bettors engaged.”

Photo by AP / David Zalubowski
Ken Pomponio Avatar
Written by
Ken Pomponio

Ken is a fourth-generation Coloradan and career sports journalist with more than 30 years covering the gamut from the preps to the pros. A lifelong Front Range resident and son of 1960s Denver Broncos season-ticket holders, he is a long-time sports betting enthusiast whose insight and passion shine through in his coverage at PlayColorado.

View all posts by Ken Pomponio