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Colorado Legal Sports Betting Arrow Pointing Up

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Colorado Legal Sports Betting Arrow Pointing Up
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images/AFP

Colorado is out with its June sports betting numbers and they show a significant increase from May which was the first full month of legalization in the state. Colorado has long been identified as a market to keep an eye on and so far, the projections seem to be right on the mark. Prior to legalization, Colorado was projected to bring in around $6 billion in legal sports bets annually and despite COVID-19, the state looks to be on track to at least come close to those numbers.

Colorado’s May figures beat estimates despite the relatively small menu of bankable, marketable sports, and June’s showed an impressive increase as well. The increases have not only been attributed to actual sports to bet on for Colorado citizens but also the increase in sports betting operators doing business in the state in June. It all gives analysts a sense of optimism for the state, and around the country that the industry as a whole may be back on track to meteoric heights.

“Colorado is home to two legitimate championship contenders in the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche, and that will almost certainly draw significant action,” Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayColorado.com said. “In this environment, things can change quickly. But pent-up demand, the start of the Colorado Rockies season, and the restart of basketball should push July to something more closely resembling a normal month.”

The Figures

Colorado officially launched its legal sports betting platform in May and promptly brought in an impressive $25.5 million in gross, unaudited sports betting revenue during a mostly sports-less month. The return of bet-able sports during June saw an impressive increase in the overall handle, and in turn, tax revenues for the state.

The Centennial State’s sports betting handle for June came in at $38.1 million, up 48.8% from May’s totals – still a ways off from what the state would generate in “normal times” but respectable nonetheless. Revenue also grew in June, coming in at $3.5 million, up 35.8% from the first month.

A Deeper Dive Into the Findings

May’s sports betting calendar can be viewed as just an appetizer. There were a few events during the months but far from a full menu. In May, soccer and golf “dominated”, contributing $3 million toward Colorado’s overall handle.

With bettors “warmed up” in June, the stats on those two sports jumped significantly. Golf’s June handle jumped 141% to $3.4 million during the month and soccer’s take was up 170% at $4.1 million. Those sports may have a difficult time replicating their sharp increases once baseball, basketball, and hockey are back in full swing, but it is something to keep an eye on going forward.

The Next Few Months

While May and June produced respectable betting numbers in Colorado, it is the next few months that will tell the tale for the legal betting industry in the state. MLB (for now) is in full swing and the NBA and the NHL are prepping to resume their seasons this weekend.

That gives Colorado three major sports to draw from the next few months – much more than a normal July, August, and September. The summer of 2020 can be viewed as a much-needed, well-deserved gift for the sports betting industry as it tries to rebound from four months of relative hibernation.

Looking Into the Future

Colorado’s sports betting market is far-from-full as we head into August. As of now, there are just nine operators running in the state, a far cry from the 33 Colorado expects to see upon maturity of the platform. Simply put, the Colorado market will look a whole lot different than it does today when all licenses are up-and-running and competing for bettors’ dollars.

With the Rockies, the Nuggets and the Avalanche all in action and with the Broncos readying to kick off their season, the arrow is pointed way up on the Colorado sports betting scene. Colorado has already proven successful in a small sample size. July, August, and beyond should continue to shatter records.