For the second consecutive month, sports betting revenue in Colorado has climbed back toward normalcy after a devastating June for operators.
After just $9.2 million in sports betting revenue in June, revenue climbed to just under $25 million in July and even higher in August to $25.8 million.
While still a far cry from the 2023 high of $46 million in March, sports wagering revenue in August was in line with expectations thanks to the steady stream of wagers on baseball. Colorado’s sports betting revenue is virtually the same as it was in August 2022, when there was nearly $25.9 million in revenue. The difference is less than 1%.
As usual, nearly all revenue came from online wagers.
Nearly all sports wagers in Colorado placed online
While the state has lost a few sports betting operators this year, Colorado online sports betting still boasts more than 20 operators, more than most other states. And in this new age of mobile wagering, many retail operations have been pushed to the side. In Colorado, that is exactly what is happening.
The total amount wagered in August was over $306 million. Of that total, $304 million came from online sportsbook operators — who can offer Colorado sportsbook promos to entice customers. Just under $1.9 million was bet on sports in person.
That led to $249,000 in revenue from retail sports betting in Colorado, which equated to just $7,600 in tax contributions. That means just under 1% of revenue and less than 0.5% of taxes paid came from retail sports wagers.
In August 2022, retail sports betting saw $2.3 million in wagers. This August, that number fell to under $1.9 million, a fall of 17%. Additionally, only Black Hawk with over $242,000 took in a meaningful amount of in-person sports wagers. Central City did not take a single in-person bet, and only $1,500 was wagered at a retail sportsbook in Cripple Creek.
The future of retail sports betting in The Centennial State could be in jeopardy. It would be hard to justify investing in a retail sportsbook in Colorado with such tiny returns.
Baseball again tops most-wagered sports
For both retail and online wagering in August, baseball was the sport most bet on. The gap, however, between baseball and other sports was less than it was in July.
Sportsbooks in Colorado saw $104.7 million of online wagers and another $774,000 from in-person sports bets on baseball in August. Both of those figures led the state. In total, 34.5% of all sports bets placed were on baseball. Those who bet on the sport won $100.4 million in August.
Surprisingly, the second most wagered on sport outside of parlays or combination bets was tennis. Nearly $29.9 million was wagered on the sport of kings in August. One other surprise is table tennis, which had more money bet on it than NCAA football and golf combined.
Here is how much was wagered on each sport in August:
- Baseball: $105.5 million
- Parlays/combinations: $53.5 million
- Tennis: $29.9 million
- Basketball: $26.4 million
- Soccer: $20.6 million
- American football: $19.4 million
- Table tennis: $12.4 million
- NCAA football: $5.9 million
- Golf: $5.8 million
- MMA: $4.6 million
- Boxing: $694,000
READ ABOUT THE TOP COLORADO SPORTSBOOKS:
CO collects $1.8 million in tax dollars in August
By the end of August, the net sports betting proceeds, which are the taxable amount of sports betting revenue, came out to just under $18.7 million. That left $1.8 million in total taxes from both retail and online sports betting for the state of Colorado.
The tax dollars from August sports betting have raised the 2023 fiscal year total, which began on July 1, to $3.6 million. The total tax contributions from January to August were $16 million.
Most of the tax dollars goes to the Colorado Water Plan, which focuses on finding solutions to water issues in the state.
A smaller percentage goes to responsible gambling education in the state.