Colorado Sports Betting Market Hits $200 Million Home Run

Posted on October 23, 2020 - Last Updated on October 26, 2020

When it comes to Colorado sports, the Denver Broncos are the king, president, governor and mayor.

There’s a reason it’s called Broncos Country.

As for the Colorado sports betting market, at least in September, baseball is the king.

The release of the September handle scored the best month yet for the burgeoning market.

And it’s in large part due to the Colorado Rockies and MLB. As well as the Broncos.

With a record $207.65 million in bets for September, and a bevy of new operators making their debut, Colorado remains in an elite group of five states that have generated more than $200 million in a single month.

September’s handle, which was released on Friday by the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Division of Gaming, was up 61% from $128.6 million in August.

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

“As expected, the return of professional football combined with great playoff action brought a surge in Colorado wagering. Relying almost solely on the in-state fan base, it is great to see the market continue to grow. Additionally, the fan seems to be the winner as additional retail and online options increase.”

But it wasn’t just the typical September sports of MLB and the NFL.

Remember, it is 2020.

So the sports schedule also had the NBA and NHL playoffs.

Top 5 sports for September

Here’s a breakdown of the top 5 sports that fans wagered on in September.

And, surprise, table tennis is still in the top 5. What is the deal with Colorado and table tennis?

  • Baseball $47.1 million
  • American football $38.6 million
  • Basketball $37.7 million
  • Hockey $11.4 million
  • Table tennis $5.3 million

The Denver Nuggets weren’t eliminated by the eventual NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers until Sept. 26.

The Colorado Avalanche made it to a second-straight Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals, only to lose in gut-wrenching fashion to the Dallas Stars.

The Rockies finished the regular season fourth in the NL West with a record of 26-34. Colorado failed to make the MLB playoffs.

Wagers by sportWagers total Online wagersRetail wagersPayments to players total Gross gaming revenue (GGR)
Total $207,655,943$203,882,793$3,773,149$203,489,609$4,166,334
Baseball$47,108,861$46,478,503$630,358$50,153,775($3,044,914)
NFL $38,611,752$37,360,906$1,205,846$36,867,374$1,744,378
Basketball$37,774,553$36,895,618$878,935$37,475,326$299,227
Hockey$11,472,947$11,322,996$149,951$11,115,799$357,148
Table Tennis$5,377,073$5,371,148$5,924$4,999,512$377,561
Tennis$5,050,503$5,038,487$12,016$4,798,530$251,973
Soccer$4,908,031$4,835,918$72,113$4,452,457$455,574
MMA$1,408,513$1,392,395$16,117$1,461,793($53,280)
NCAA Football$3,840,317$3,687,348$152,969$3,683,244$157,073
Golf$3,214,443$3,209,331$5,112$2,680,710$533,733
Parlays/combinations $28,172,699$27,577,826$594,872$24,258.848$3,913,861
Other $20,716,251$20,712,317$3,934$21,542,250($825,999)

Colorado sports bettors prefer online

As for the preferred way for fans to bet, in Colorado it’s all about the online sportsbooks.

Since the state allows users to sign up for the Colorado betting apps from their couch, that’s not surprising. That’s why so many sportsbooks want to get into this market.

Of all September’s wagers, 98% were made online. That is a total of $203 million. That is about the same from the 98.5% in August. No other major legal sports betting market has seen such a high percentage of its monthly handle generated online.

Colorado operators held 2% of wagers placed in September. That’s a total of $4.1 million and produces nearly $70,000 in tax revenue.

Operators have clearly noticed the preference for online betting in Colorado.

In September alone, the state welcomed the launch of four new online sportsbooks, including theScore, William Hill, Betfred, and Sportsbetting.com.

There are now 15 online sportsbooks and 11 retail sportsbooks in Colorado.

As for the little battle with Indiana, this puts Colorado slightly ahead. The Hoosier State enjoyed a record September with $207.5 million.

That also shows why sports betting is a multi-billion dollar industry.

And the expectations in the growing Colorado market remain a mile high.

Photo by AP / David Zalubowski
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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. Ian does a segment each Saturday on Klahr and Kompany on Denver radio station ESPN 1600 AM.

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