Colorado sports activities betting brings in $1.2 billion in shortened first 12 months, regardless of pandemic – The Denver Publish
Colorado’s nascent sports betting industry seemingly beat the odds last year with nearly $1.2 billion in wagers placed May through December.
Despite launching May 1, when few professional sports were being played because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry continued to garner enthusiasm as the year wore on. December was the state’s biggest month, with Coloradans placing a record-setting $284.5 million in bets, up 23% over November, according to Department of Revenue figures released Monday.
American football was the top sport of the month at nearly $88.2 million in wagers, followed by professional basketball ($42.9 million), NCAA basketball ($35.2 million), NCAA football ($14.9 million) and table tennis ($10.9 million).
In 2020, the state collected more than $3.4 million in taxes from sports betting revenue.
“Hitting the $1 billion mark is a milestone event for the department, leading us to believe that the trust and competition in the industry are leading bettors from the black market to the regulated market,” said Dan Hartman, director of the Colorado Division of Gaming, in a statement. “We believe the legal marketplace is having and will continue to have a positive impact on Colorado.”
Ian St. Clair, analyst with PlayColorado.com, agreed, saying in a statement that the Centennial State “could be the most innovative market in the country.”
“It’s not just that table tennis remains a popular draw in the state, even months after the return of major U.S. sports,” St. Clair said. “It’s also the way operators are using unique betting markets to help connect with customers. The unusual recipe has unquestionably been a success.”
More than a dozen online apps enable residents and visitors to wager on sports from anywhere in the state. In December, digital sportsbooks accounted for 99% of all bets, at $280.4 million. Retail sportsbooks at casinos in Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek accounted for the remaining $4.1 million.