The US legal sports betting trend of lower handles accompanied by higher revenues added another state on Tuesday with Colorado reporting their June figures. Colorado’s mixed bag in June has become the norm for the broader US legal sports betting scene, not the exception. With most states experiencing a predictable seasonal sports betting slowdown, there is at least some good news with sportsbooks seeing a significant spike in profits the last few months.
There was a sentiment that a deep run by two of Colorado’s competitive pro teams, the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche would help the state buck the trend of month-to-month handle drops but early departures from their respective playoffs dashed those hopes.
Still, the Colorado sports betting industry has the benefit of a solid foundation and is as reliable market as there is in the US scene.
“Overall, Colorado continues to weather the summer months relatively well. June’s revenue boost was not only good news for sportsbooks, but for the state” Ian St. Clair, analyst with the PlayColorado said. “That is important when the tax receipts from sports betting have been somewhat disappointing overall.”
Colorado sportsbooks took in a total of $229.8 million in June – 7% less than May when the Colorado Division of Gaming reported a $248.97 million handle for its sports betting scene. Those numbers are the lowest total for the Colorado industry since the $210.7 million taken in during October – 8 months ago. Colorado has registered a month-to month sports betting dip in two of the last three months.
For those looking for a turnaround for the Colorado legal sports betting industry, it may take a couple of months. Other than the Olympics, there are few betable, marquee sporting events on the wagering menu, meaning that September and the start of the NFL season is the date the Centennial State’s sportsbooks have circled on their calendars.
As mentioned, Colorado’s June legal sports betting figures are not all bad news. Along with the handle dip has come a nice, unexpected spike in gross gaming revenues. The reason identified by PlayUSA Network is sportsbooks across the country cashing in on a slew of future bets during the summer betting period.
The gross gaming revenue figure for Colorado sportsbooks came in at $19.7 million for June, a spike of 30.4% from the $15.1 million that the state’s sportsbooks made in May.
Tax contributions also saw a nice jump thanks to the increased revenues. Sportsbooks paid out $1.2 million to Colorado state and local coffers in June, an 86.7% jump from the $635,641 in May.
Mobile Continues to Rule… and Basketball Too
Unsurprisingly, it was Colorado’s mobile betting platform that dominated the overall handle. The Centennial State mobile scene is among the top two or three platforms in all of the American legal sports betting industry.
An incredible 98.8% of Colorado’s overall June handle came from its internet-based platform. That’s $227.1 million of the $229.8 million. While impressive, that number is still 7.9% lower than the $246.5 million mobile sportsbooks took in during May.
Basketball was once again the most bet-on sport in Colorado during June, despite the Denver Nuggets making an early exit from the NBA playoffs. Basketball contributed just over $74 million to Colorado’s overall June handle, baseball came second with just over $54 million in bets, and soccer, buoyed by Euro 2020, closed out the top-3 with just over $12 million in wagers.
Despite the sports betting slowdown for Colorado sportsbooks, there is no panic among regulators and sportsbook operators. Colorado has proven rather resilient, and the NFL season is just over two months away from kickoff. The addition of Bally Bet to the betting family at the end of May could also provide a bit of a spark.
“Tennis and golf don’t generate the same kind of interest as major team sports, obviously, but the higher win percentages help sportsbooks offset the offseason dip in betting volume,” said Jessica Welman, an analyst with the PlayUSA Network. “With the Olympics here, and major golf and tennis tournaments dotting the July calendar, Colorado’s sportsbooks will get a bit of a boost even if bettors engage less.”
Expect a couple more months of slumping numbers for the Colorado scene before record sports betting handles will be approached again and likely broken.