Colorado Sports Betting Handle Climbs Above $600 Million In November

Written By T.J. McBride on 01/03/2024
Javonte Williams stiff-arming a Chargers opponent on a story about how the NFL led betting revenue in Colorado in November.

November sports betting handle in Colorado improved for the fifth-consecutive month after more than $600 million was wagered. Even with the total handle reaching $608.5 million, operators came away with much less in revenue both month over month and year over year.

November sports betting generated $28.5 million in revenue, which was a 60.7% dip from October. Revenue in November was also 24.2% lower than November 2022, which enjoyed $37.6 million.

Bettors won more than usual in November, leaving less money for sports betting operators and the state. Bettors won $579.9 million in November, leaving a hold percentage of just 4.7%. That hold percentage was 44.4% worse than October, which had a hold percentage of 8.46%. It was 30.9% worse year over year.

Regardless, the consistent growth in total handle month over month shows the sports betting market in Colorado is thriving.

Colorado sports betting comprised almost entirely of online wagers

Sports betting in Colorado includes both online sports betting and the retail sportsbooks in Colorado’s three gambling towns. That being said, virtually all sports betting in The Centennial State is done through a mobile sportsbook.

Over 99% of the total sports betting handle in November came from online sports wagering. More than $602.9 million of bets were placed with an online operator. Online sports wagering also contributed $28.2 million in revenue, 98.7% of the entire pot.

Retail sportsbooks took in just $5.6 million of wagers in November. That led to $5.2 million of winnings for players, which left operators with a hold percentage of 6.64%. Ultimately, retail casinos in Colorado combined to generate $369,619 of revenue. After deductions and promotions, the total net sports betting proceeds (NSBP) from retail sports betting came out to $355,684. Retail sportsbooks’ NSBP fell by about 20% year over year as more players continue to migrate to mobile options.

Retail handle did climb from $4.4 million in October to $5.6 million in November, which is an increase of 21.4% month over month. As usual, Black Hawk took in the most in-person sports wagers.

Here are Colorado’s three groups of casinos ranked by NSBP from retail sportsbooks:

  1. Black Hawk casinos: $352,134
  2. Cripple Creek casinos: $3,549
  3. Central City casinos: $0

Football and basketball formed the majority of Colorado sports bets in November

Basketball and football were by far the two most popular sports wagered on in November.

The NFL led the way in both retail and mobile sports handle. Nearly $1.9 million was bet in person and another $149.3 million was wagered online for a grand total of $151.2 million. Bettors won $146.2 million.

Basketball was second in both retail and online wagers as well as second overall with a total of $143.6 million of bets. Mobile bets on basketball totaled $141.8 million, while another $1.9 million of bets were placed in person. From those wagers, players walked away with $137.9 of winnings.

It was not just professional football and basketball that led the way. If you do not include parlay bets as individual sports, the bronze medal went to college football, and the fourth-place finish went to college basketball. Between all variations of football and basketball, $384.6 million of wagers were placed, which represented 63% of all bets placed.

On top of everything else, parlay bets also saw a lot of action. A total of $135.3 million of bets placed in November were parlay bets.

Here are how all of the sports stacked up to one another in total handle for November:

  1. Pro football: $151.2 million
  2. Pro basketball: $143.6 million
  3. NCAA football: $52.1 million
  4. NCAA basketball: $37.7 million
  5. Tennis: $22.7 million
  6. Pro hockey: $19.7 million
  7. Soccer: $14.7 million
  8. Table tennis: $9.9 million
  9. MMA: $2.6 million
  10. Pro baseball: $1.2 million


Colorado took in less than $1.5 million in taxes from November sports betting

Even with the growth in total handle, taxes fell alongside revenue due to players winning more often than usual.

In total, $1.5 million of taxes were contributed to the state from sports betting in November. It was less than half of the $3.4 million in taxes contributed in October. November’s sports betting taxes were also over $1 million less year over year.

The reason for the steep fall is because taxes are generated based on the profits of sports betting operators. If operators have a rough month due to players winning more frequently, that means the state also receives less funds.

Online sports betting operators paid $1.46 million in taxes while the remaining $28,919 of taxes came from retail sportsbooks.

Colorado uses a large majority of its money generated from sports betting to fund the Colorado Water Plan, which then uses the money to find solutions to water issues in the state.

A small percentage that is left over goes to Colorado responsible gambling education.

Photo by David Zalubowski/AP
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T.J. McBride

T.J. McBride is a Denver-based writer and reporter with an extensive background in covering the NBA and Denver Nuggets. T.J. is Southern California native who provides news and analysis on the legal gambling industry across a number of Catena Media's regional US sites.

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