- It’s official: Colorado handled $25.5 million in wagers in May and collected $947,000 in revenue.
- Although the hold rate was lower than average, the total handle was the second-highest of any state in its sports betting debut month, even with the pandemic cutting into live sports.
- All major sports leagues either have returned to play or will soon, and Colorado’s online sportsbooks are poised to capitalize on the opportunities that return will create.
DENVER – On Monday, Colorado released its first official audited data on sports betting from its first month of operation.
In May, Colorado sportsbooks handled $25.5 million in total wagers and collected $947,000 in sports betting revenue—a hold rate of just 3.71%.
That handle represented the second-highest of any state in its first month of legal sports betting, trailing only the $35 million posted by Indiana in September 2019. Given the circumstances surrounding Colorado’s sports betting launch—the global coronavirus pandemic—that handle figure should be hugely encouraging.
When Indiana launched its sports betting, there was a full slate of NFL games to bet on. The most popular sport to bet on in Colorado during its first month was table tennis. That’s not a typo; table tennis accounted for $6.6 million, or over 25% of the total volume of wagers.
The next most popular single sport was mixed martial arts, which accounted for $1.7 million, or 7% of total betting volume.
With more popular sporting events to bet on, Colorado’s sports betting revenue should grow exponentially in the coming months.
Projecting The Future Of Colorado Sports Betting
While some lamented the $25.5 million handle for being lower than initial projections, that was inevitable given the impact of the coronavirus. The fact is that this new industry succeeded despite far from ideal conditions.
All four major American professional sports leagues, plus Major League Soccer, have teams based in the Denver metropolitan area. MLS has already returned to play, and every one of the Big Four leagues (NBA, NHL, MLB, and NFL) are set to resume or begin their 2020 seasons within the next two months.
Colorado sportsbooks should see a massive increase in handle and revenue over that time frame.
In the first four months of sports betting in Indiana, betting handle increased from $35.2 million to $161.8 million, and that was with popular sporting events available to bet on from the start. Expect a similar increase in Colorado, if not an even larger one.
While large businesses like casinos will likely be forced to operate under heavy restrictions for the foreseeable future, that shouldn’t adversely affect overall Colorado sports betting revenues too heavily because online sports betting is so widely supported.
Registration is easy and can be done from anywhere, and there is already a wide selection of state-regulated online sports betting providers to choose from.
As soon as its regulations were announced, many projected that Colorado could grow into one of the top sports betting states in the country. Early indicators show that the state may already be on its way there.
With a dual background in English and sports performance and business analytics, Carter aims to write stories that both engage and inform the reader. He prides himself on his ability to interweave empirical data and traditional narrative storytelling. When he isn’t keeping readers up to date on the latest sports betting legal news, he’s banging his head against a wall regretting his decision to be a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan.