Colorado sportsbooks took a step back in February with a $440.5 million wagering month.
But it was an expected step back.
According to data released Thursday by the Colorado Division of Gaming, retail and online sportsbooks in Colorado featured a total handle of $440,508,421.
That was a 23.2 percent decrease from the record-shattering January handle of $574 million.
In all, Centennial State sportsbooks generated $19.6 million in gross revenue in February. That resulted in a $1.1 million loss in net sports betting proceeds.
Still, with only one football game during the month — the Feb. 13 Super Bowl — and March Madness yet to kick in, February’s numbers were far from surprising.
Overall numbers still up from February 2021
Despite the marked decline from January, the February 2022 figures represent a sizable jump from February 2021.
The total wagering handle was up 65.3 percent from $266.5 million the previous February in Colorado.
Meanwhile, gross revenue increased 88.5 percent from $10.4 million in February 2021.
It was much the same story with state tax revenues.
Taxes collected by the state in February from sports betting wagers totaled $314,731. That represented a 78.3 percent decrease from January.
However, fiscal year taxes to date (though February) total $7.97 million, signifying a whopping 92.3 percent increase from the same period in 2020-21 ($4.15 million).
Super Bowl wagering also sees jump
Super Bowl LVI, contested between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals, attracted a reported $41 million in in-state wagering. That figure includes futures and other Big Game prop wagers placed throughout the season.
And, as expected, that was an increase of 31 percent from last year’s Super Bowl.
In all, though, NFL wagering resulted in a net loss for Colorado’s sportsbooks during February.
Pro football had a $31.4 million handle. But $33.4 million was paid out to NFL bettors, representing a net deficit of a little more than $2 million.
Chalk that up to the multitude of winning NFL futures wagers which were paid out during the month.
By comparison, the NFL generated a $144.1 million state sportsbook handle — and $6.7 million in revenue — in January.
February Madness? Basketball reigns supreme in Colorado
To no one’s surprise, basketball betting dominated the February sportsbook take.
Pro basketball led the way with a $155.6 million handle. College hoops was a distant second at $68.2 million.
In fact, it was the third straight month that NBA betting paced all sports in Colorado.
Of course, the state’s strange favorite niche sport, table tennis, remains strong. It ranked seventh on the list with a monthly handle of $7.3 million.
Here’s a breakdown of Colorado’s top 12 sports:
|Wagers by sport||Total Handle||Online Handle||Retail Handle||Revenue (GGR)|
March Madness revenue report, MLB season on deck
Looking ahead, March Madness betting is sure to bring an uptick to Colorado’s third monthly sports wagering revenue report of 2022.
A year ago, Colorado’s March sportsbook handle was $301 million — the second highest figure of the eight months of 2021. College hoops, naturally, accounted for $71 million of that.
April, though, marks the start of the annual spring/summer sports wagering downtick.
But the outlook definitely would have been grimmer had the Major League Baseball lockout not been resolved in mid-March.
The 2022 MLB season begins April 7, with the Colorado Rockies opening a day later at home against the rival Los Angeles Dodgers.
Each MLB team will play as full 162-game schedule.
“The biggest concern for sportsbooks was a big loss in the inventory of baseball games,” said Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com network, which includes PlayColorado.
“But with the lockout now over and the primary bet generator during the summer months playing a full schedule, Colorado’s operators can look forward to the first truly normal sports year since the state launched sports betting in May 2020.”