The state of Colorado continues to impress with regard to their legal sports betting industry. For the ninth straight month, Colorado bettors sent the industry in their state to record-handle-highs in January and took the platform over the $300 million mark for the first time.
Launched in May, the Colorado scene has consistently exceeded expectations. In its first eight months of operation, the state, which ranks as the 21st most populous with nearly 5.8 million citizens has ranked in the Top-6 most bet-friendly states in the nation. Thanks to their January haul, it doesn’t appear as though their status as an elite sports betting jurisdiction will be threatened anytime soon.
Breaking Down the Numbers
Legal sportsbooks in Colorado generated a record-$326.9 million in bets in January according to a Colorado Division of Gaming report that came out on Thursday. January’s haul bested December’s then-record handle of $284.6 million by an impressive 14.9% and eclipsed the $300 million mark for the first time ever.
Gross gaming revenues for Colorado sports betting also set a new high-water mark with $23.1 million in profits for the state’s sportsbooks. That beats December’s revenue total of $17.1 million in Colorado and eclipses the old record of $18.4 million made back in November. Net betting proceeds for the month were $11.7 million in January, up from $5.7 million in November.
A healthy $1.2 million in tax contributions to Colorado state and local coffers was made, more than doubling the $531,489 in taxes in December.
It has become a theme in the US legal sports betting scene that mobile betting platforms are the present and the future of the industry. Nowhere is that more evident than in Colorado where an astounding $319.4 million of the $329.8 million of the overall handle, or 98% came from mobile betting apps. That’s an increase of 13.9% from December.
Online revenues alone came in at $22.7 million for the month of January.
Retail outlets, all of which reside in remote Rocky Mountain locations, did contribute $7.5 million to the state’s overall haul last month (up from $4.1 million in December), but there is no denying the importance of internet-based betting in the state.
Sports Breakdown (Which Includes Table Tennis Again)
With the NFL’s concluded Regular Season by January, pigskin took a backseat to basketball as the biggest contributor to the Colorado sports betting handle. Basketball was responsible for $88.3 million of the state’s January handle with the NFL producing $75 million in bets.
Next came NCAA basketball which produced $39.9 million toward Colorado’s January handle and the juggernaut table tennis was the fourth-largest contributor with $11.8 million in bets during December.
“To put the popularity of table tennis into perspective, it accounts for a similar percentage of Colorado’s handle as hockey does in most other states,” Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayColorado.com said. “In no other state is there a relatively obscure sport that commands so much attention. Amazingly, it continues to be an important piece to the success of the state’s industry, and there is no sense yet that interest is waning.”
Hockey produced $9.6 million, soccer saw $6 million in bets and NCAA football and MMA each contributed more than $3 million in bets.
Where Colorado Goes From Here
Despite likely losing their spot in the Top-5 most bet-friendly states in the US thanks to the emergence of Illinois, who posted $348 million in bets in January, Colorado’s legal sports betting scene is strong and according to PlayColorado should be able to eclipse the $3 billion mark for 2021 when all is said and done.
Colorado’s month-after-month increases are reasons for such optimism. Jessica Welman said: “What’s really stuck out is just how relentless Colorado’s growth has been. Every month we get new data. Every month sportsbooks set a new state record. There has been no letup regardless of what has happened with sports schedules during this pandemic. Growth is the rule in just about every legal jurisdiction, but none have had such a long, consistent upward trajectory.”
So, it is full steam ahead for the Colorado legal sports betting industry. The only questions that remain are when and if their streak of record-breaking handles will ever come to an end.