Revenue Growth Continues As CO Bettors Wagered $554.9 Million In October

Written By T.J. McBride on 12/13/2023 - Last Updated on December 14, 2023
Photo of Denver Broncos fans celebrating with a player on a story about October sports wagering revenue in Colorado.

In October, sports bettors in Colorado wagered over half-of-a-billion dollars between both retail and mobile settings. This is the fourth-consecutive month that there has been growth in the Colorado sports wagering market and the second-straight month with a handle over $500 million.

From the $554.9 million of wagers placed in the state, bettors took home $507.9 million of winnings which left $46.9 million of revenue for operators. That equated to a hold percentage of 8.46%, according to state reports posted Tuesday. October sports betting revenue was 5.4% greater month over month and a whopping 22.8% in comparison to October 2022.

As usual, mobile sports wagering led retail bets in virtually every category from total handle to revenue and hold percentage. Retail sports wagering in Colorado over October was actually upside down in terms of profit with operators losing money as opposed to generating revenue.

Still, October was profitable overall and plenty of bets were taken. The biggest stimulant that aided Colorado sports betting to pass the $500 million mark in handle during October was wagers on professional football.

Mobile sports betting 99% of wagers in CO

The Colorado online sports wagering market took over 99% of sports wagers and that proportion is more common than not.

Simply stated, the retail market is minuscule compared to online sports betting. For comparison’s sake, there was nearly 125 times more money bet online compared to in person in October.

Colorado mobile operators saw $550.4 million of bets placed in October which led to $503.4 million of winnings for players. That left a hold percentage of 8.54% which meant mobile sportsbooks generated $47 million.

Compare those figures to retail betting and the difference is clear as day. In person sportsbooks took $4.4 million of wagers. From that handle, its users won $4.5 million leaving retail operators upside down with a -2% hold percentage and with $90,000 less in the bank than at the start of the month.

Retail sports wagering handle slipped by 8.9% month over month and 8.2% year over year. As the Colorado mobile wagering industry continues to grab hold of more of the market share, less and less people are traveling to one of Colorado’s three gambling towns to place sports wagers in person.

Professional football paces wagers in October

When looking at the most bet on sports in Colorado during October, the answer is clear. The majority of online wagers as well as the in-person wagers were on professional football.

More than $183.5 million was bet on football using mobile sportsbooks in October which led the state and represented one-third of the total mobile sports betting handle. Those who bet on football won $168.7 million leaving a hold percentage for online football bets at 8%. That left $14.8 million of revenue from football bets for mobile operators.

Retail sportsbooks also received more bets from football than any other sport with $1.7 million of wagers. Unfortunately for Colorado retail operators, bettors won $1.8 million which put retail operators about $100,000 in the red.

The second-most popular type of wager for both retail and mobile operators was parlay/combination bets. There was $117.1 million of parlay bets placed during October in Colorado. Of that total, $116.3 million were mobile wagers while $790,354 of parlay bets were placed in person.

Here is how much was wagered on each sport in October:

  • Pro football: $185.2 million
  • Parlays/combinations: $117.1 million
  • Basketball: $63.4 million
  • NCAA football: $51.8 million
  • Baseball: $38.3 million
  • Tennis: $32.3 million
  • Soccer: $19.3 million
  • Ice hockey: $16 million
  • Table tennis: $11.2 million
  • MMA: $2.6 million
  • Golf: $1.4 million


Colorado receives $3.4 million of taxes

After another strong month of sports wagering in the Centennial State, it was time to see how much taxes were due.

The amount of taxes sports betting operators pay is based off of net sports betting proceeds. With $33.1 million of statewide net sports betting proceeds generated, the state received $3.4 million. Of that total, $3.3 million came from mobile wagering while $5,096 came from retail sports betting.

Colorado allocates a large percentage of its tax dollars from sports wagering to the Colorado Water Plan which has a primary goal of finding solutions to water issues across the state. A smaller percentage also goes to toward 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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