Sports Betting Handle Sees First Dip In February, But Table Tennis Still In Top 10

Written By Ian St. Clair on 03/29/2021 - Last Updated on May 27, 2022

Editor’s note: An earlier version of the story had the incorrect top 10 sports wagered on due to a mistake by the Colorado Division of Gaming.

For the first time since Colorado sportsbooks launched, the monthly revenue dipped.

This isn’t a sign that bettors have lost interest or a reason to panic.

Based on what the young sports betting industry has seen in other states, this is what happens from January to February.

When you take into account February is the first month without NFL betting, it makes complete sense.

In January, there were the final regular season games, plus Wild Card Weekend, the divisional round and the championship games.

In February, there was just Super Bowl betting.

So the dip in monthly sports betting handle was expected. The question was how much.

Based on numbers released by the Colorado Division of Gaming on Monday, we now know.

February sports betting handle

Colorado’s online and retail sportsbooks combined to take in $266.5 million in bets for February.

That was down from the $326.9 million in bets in January, and is the lowest monthly handle since $284.6 million in December.

Yet despite the drop of 18.5% from January, it was still the third-highest month since sports betting launched in the state.

Of those bets, $258.2 million were made online. That accounts for 97% of the betting action in the state, while only 3% came from retail sportsbooks.

Speaking of which, it was a rough month for the retail shops in the state, with only $8.3 million in total handle. Perhaps more importantly, the retail outlets lost $547,436 for the month.

Sportsbooks generated $10.4 million in gross gaming revenue, a drop off from the record $23.1 million in January.

February’s gross gaming revenue yielded $175,274 in net sports betting proceeds, down from $11.7 million in January.

The February handle produced $332,227 in state taxes. That’s a drastic decline from the $1.2 million in state taxes for January.

In the race for top sports-betting markets in the U.S., Colorado failed to top Indiana. That makes the Centennial State the seventh-largest market in the country. The Hoosier State is Colorado’s closest rival in terms of market size.

Indiana gamblers bet over $273 million on sports for the month.

As Dan Hartman, director for the Division of Gaming, said in the release:

“One year ago, we were talking about the casinos in Colorado shutting down due to the pandemic. This March, in comparison, we’re looking forward to a new outlook for the gaming industry, given the open sportsbook retail locations and multiple online options. Add in the March Madness championships, and we believe all of these factors will continue the growth trajectory that we see with sports betting in Colorado.”

Top sports wagered on

We know about the affinity Colorado has for table tennis betting.

But for the second-straight month, NBA betting took the top spot.

With the success of Nikola Jokić and the Denver Nuggets, it makes total sense.

The NBA is also a big draw for sports bettors.

So while table tennis is the main attraction here and across the country, this is the new trend.

As Johnny Avello, the DraftKings sportsbook director, said about NBA betting sticking in Colorado:

“I think so because it follows what happens in other jurisdictions that we’re in. The NBA, and basketball in general, is one of the top betting sports after football. So, yes. And it’s such a long season. This year is a little bit shorter, the regular season is 10 games shorter.

“In normal circumstances it starts in November or so and just continues all the way to June. So you get a pretty good dose of NBA for a good half-year plus. I don’t think some of the new offerings that we’re doing like cornhole, and pickleball and things like that, are going to take it over, so I think you’re going to continue to see that trend.”

In the same refrain, the other draw was college basketball betting.

The University of Colorado and Colorado State University men’s basketball teams each made deep runs in their respective conference tournaments.

And fans took advantage to make the sport the second-most wagered on for the month.

While table tennis dropped out of the top five, it brought in $6.8 million in wagers and was still in the top six (more than soccer, golf and MMA).

The other surprise in the top five? Hockey.

That’s due in large part to the success of the Colorado Avalanche, who remain a Stanley Cup favorite and one of the best teams in the NHL.

Top 5 sports wagered on

Here are the top five wagered sports for February:

  1. NBA $95 million
  2. NCAA basketball $39.6 million
  3. NFL $24.1 million
  4. Hockey $13 million
  5. Tennis $9.5 million
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Ian St. Clair

Ian is an award-winning sports journalist and a University of Northern Colorado graduate. He’s a Colorado native and has over a decade of experience covering college and professional athletics. He broke into the gambling industry right as Colorado launched legal sports betting in 2020. Ian now manages the sites for some of the biggest gambling markets in North America and is an analyst for PlayColorado.

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