September was a stellar month for the legal sports betting industry in the US. The sports betting menu was full with the start of the NFL and the College Football season, playoff action in MLB, the NBA, and NHL, and the pent-up demand for wagering on meaningful sporting action was at an all-time high.
The result of the perfect betting storm was record handles for most participating states. The latest to report is Colorado, one of the newest and most exciting markets in the country. According to the Colorado Department of Revenue, the state, which launched legal sports betting in May, and its 15 online and 11 retail sportsbooks took in a record $207.65 million. It represents the first time the relatively new platform topped the $200 million mark.
Colorado’s haul, when added with some other big legal sports betting fish including New Jersey and Pennsylvania, brought the National sports betting handle past $1.5 billion with Nevada still yet to report.
Online Numbers off-the-Charts
The numbers out of Colorado for September also set another high-water mark, this one nationally, and it has to do with internet betting. Colorado’s online sports betting platform was responsible for $203,882,793.41 of the $207,655,942.72 handle which works out to an astounding 98.2% of the money taken in. Just $3,773,149.31 came from the retail side.
Colorado’s September mobile handle shattered a record in terms of the percentage of a state’s total handle. New Jersey previously held that mark when they reported 90.7% of their September 2020 sports betting handle coming from internet wagering.
Colorado’s mobile figures from September also show a 61% increase from August’s mobile take of $126.7 million, according to state figures.
Colorado’s September $207,655,942.72 total sports betting handle represents a 61.4% increase over August’s $128,646,209 – an impressive month-to-month rise.
Gross gaming revenues actually saw a decrease in September however. GGR was $4.16 million last month, down 44.6% from August’s $7.5 million. The win percentage was 2.01% and the tax revenue was $69,771.64 thanks to the month’s $3.39 million in net sports betting proceeds.
The Biggest Contributors
Sports fans in the state of Colorado had a ton to choose from in the month of September. But it was baseball that was the biggest contributor to the record monthly handle. Baseball attracted $47.1 million in bets with football a close second with $38.6 million, basketball with $37.7 million, and hockey with $11.4 million.
Another strange, but consistent contributor to Colorado’s monthly sports betting handle was International table tennis – a popular draw in the state since the COVID-19 shutdown of most other pro leagues. Russian pro table tennis contributed – get this – $5.3 million to Colorado’s overall sports betting handle, topping soccer, NCAA football, and golf betting.
Increased Sportsbook Options Also Aided in the Spike
The sports betting menu was obviously the biggest reason for Colorado’s September surge. But we can’t underestimate the impact of the new providers that launched in the state during the month and bought with them some exciting promotions that could have contributed to more bettors flooding the market.
TheScore Bet launched September 2, William Hill went live with their mobile app on September 10, Betfred USA came to the market on September 11 and the Carousel Group launched SportsBetting.com on September 21. That’s four new major providers that contributed to Colorado’s handle last month.
September was a banner month for the sports betting industry in the US. New Jersey reported a record $748 million handle, Pennsylvania set their own record with a $462 million handle and Indiana is another Heavyweight that was among the throng of states to set a new monthly standard for their sports betting industry with $207 million in bets takes in. Iowa and West Virginia are smaller states that also reported handle-records due to their September haul.
When Nevada comes out with its September figures, the National sports betting handle is expected to top $2.5 billion. It points to an industry that has come out of its COVID-hole far better than expected and an industry that is as healthy as any in the US right now.
It may be difficult to eclipse September’s numbers in October with the NBA and NHL seasons concluded and MLB having whittled down the number of teams left in World Series contention. But a December/January start for the NBA and NHL is being floated which means that three of the four major North American sports will again be running simultaneously.
Records are made to be broken. Although it might not happen right away in Colorado, their September record may be short-lived – as long as COVID-19 cooperates