Colorado Bettors Have Already Wagered $1 Billion On Sports

Written By Ian St. Clair on 01/25/2021 - Last Updated on January 31, 2021

Another month, another record for Colorado sports betting.

To steal a sports betting term, this one comes with a parlay.

Thanks to the record December handle, Colorado topped $1 billion in wagers for the year. For the eight months since the launch of sports betting, the state brought in $1.2 billion.

When you consider the Colorado sports betting market launched during the pandemic and without major US sports until the end of July, that is an incredible feat.

Also keep in mind that sports betting launched in May, so that doesn’t even represent a whole year.

Based on that fact, Colorado sports betting could come close to $2 billion in handle over the course of a full year.

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

“Hitting the $1 billion mark is a milestone event for the department, leading us to believe that the trust and competition in the industry are leading bettors from the black market to the regulated market. We believe the legal marketplace is having and will continue to have a positive impact on Colorado.”

Colorado sports betting sets another record

Colorado’s online and retail sportsbooks tallied their eighth straight month of record sports betting with $284.55 million in December, according to data released on Monday by the Division of Gaming. That was up 23% from the previous record of $231.2 million set in November.

Gross gaming revenue did fall short of a state record in December, hitting $17.1 million. That was down 6.6% from the high of $18.4 million in November.

Meanwhile, sports betting proceeds fell to $5.7 million, down from $9 million in November.

The state also generated $531,489 in state taxes for the month. That is a dip from the $793,820 collected in November.

As for the eight months of sports betting, Colorado’s retail and online sportsbooks produced:

  • $1.2 billion in wagers; of that, $1.17 billion were made online
  • $75.8 million in gross gaming revenue
  • $28.3 million in net betting proceeds
  • $3 million in state taxes, including $2.2 million in the last three months
Wagers by sportTotal handleOnline handleRetail handleRevenue (GGR)
Pro Football$88,176,863$86,499,474$1,677,389$5,107,654
Pro Basketball$42,873,295$42,623,367$249,928$2,784,371
NCAA Basketball$35,234,085$34,712,033$522,052$97,366
NCAA Football$14,962,660$14,149,730$812,930$1,094,320
Table Tennis$10,959,432$10,950,604$8,828$763,373

Top sports wagered on

As for the sports that users put their money on, the one constant in this market is Russian table tennis.

December was no different. Table tennis took $10.9 million in wagers, down a little bit from the $12.4 million in November.

For the “year,” table tennis has generated an astounding $63.5 million in bets. Only football, baseball, and basketball have generated more.

And to the surprise of no one, the NFL was by far the most popular bet in December, even though the Denver Broncos finished 5-11 and with their fourth straight losing season.

Betting on the NFL drew $88.1 million in wagers, almost even with the $88.5 million in November.

Here are the top five wagered sports for December:

  • NFL, $88.1 million
  • Basketball, $42.8 million
  • NCAA basketball, $35.2 million
  • NCAA football, $14.9 million
  • Table tennis, $10.9 million

Innovative sports betting market

In typical Colorado fashion, the market has become one of the most innovative in the country.

You see that with table tennis still among the top sports wagered, but also the way sportsbooks are gaining interest.

They’re doing that, in part, by offering unique proposition bets that are available only in Colorado, such as odds on where Deshaun Watson could play next season.

In the battle of the top states, Colorado will likely finish sixth for the month.

The Centennial State will likely trail only New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Indiana.

Given the unusual circumstances in which Colorado launched sports betting, the fact it already topped $1 billion is a major win for the market.

Photo by AP / Jack Dempsey
Ian St. Clair Avatar
Written by
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.

View all posts by Ian St. Clair