NFL Wagers Propel Colorado Sports Betting, 15% Higher Than September 2022

Written By Dan Holmes on 11/09/2023
Photo of Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson on a story about how professional football drove September sports betting revenue in Colorado.

Players wagered more than half a billion dollars on sports in Colorado in September. The total handle of $512.7 million was a 15% increase over September 2022 and a giant leap from August’s $306 million.

Gross gaming revenue was $45.2 million in September, with a hold percentage of just 8.83%. That number, which represents the win percentage of the house, is usually most profitable for sportsbooks when it reaches 10% or higher.

That said, gross gaming revenue in September was the second-highest monthly total this year in Colorado. It was eclipsed only by March’s $46.2 million, which was fueled by the NCAA basketball tournaments.

Sportsbooks celebrate return of football in September

More than $467.6 million was paid to players by Colorado sportsbooks in September. The bulk of that, 99.1%, was from Colorado online sports betting.

The jump in sports betting activity in September can be attributed to the start of the NFL and college football seasons, as well as the final month of the MLB season. Baseball betting accounted for 15.3% of all wagers placed in Colorado in September. Football was responsible for 44.3% of betting.

Bettors in Colorado enjoy parlay betting, especially in regards to football. In September, 19% of all bets were parlay wagers, as opposed to 17% in August before the football schedule began.

The state of Colorado received $3.12 million in taxes from sports betting in September. Since January, the state has collected just under $20 million in taxes from wagering on sports. That total is largely appropriated to fund the Colorado Water Plan.

Betting on Buffaloes may be reason for YoY increase

  1. NFL: 30.7%
  2. MLB: 15.3%
  3. NCAA football: 13.6%
  4. Tennis: 5.9%
  5. Basketball: 4.6%
  6. Soccer: 3.9%
  7. Table tennis: 2.4%
  8. MMA: 0.8%
  9. Golf: 0.5%
  10. Hockey: 0.3%


Bets on professional football are by far the most popular wagers in Colorado, as is the case throughout the US.

The increased popularity and hype surrounding the Colorado Buffaloes may have helped boost betting on NCAA football in September. In September 2022, college football betting accounted for 11.7% of all wagers. It rose to 13.6% this September.

Surprisingly, tennis maintains a steady total handle in Colorado, with about one on every $16 wagered being placed on tennis matches. In September, the US Open took place.

Blackhawk dominates retail sports betting

The Ameristar Black Hawk Casino accounted for nearly all of the retail sports betting GGR in September. Around $862,000 of the $866,000 reported from the three Colorado retail sportsbooks at casinos was wagered at Ameristar.

The retail sportsbooks in Colorado casinos paid in excess of $6.7 million in taxes to the state in Q3 2023. It was a 14% increase over the third quarter performance of 2022.

Photo by Associated Press
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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes writes about sports betting, sports media, and sports betting legislative matters. He's the author of three books, and previously reported for Major League Baseball, as well as the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

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