Sports betting in the state of Colorado launched on May 1, despite there being a limited number of live sports up and running in the United States. There were a handful of sportsbooks that were ready to launch on May 1, including DraftKings Sportsbook.
Cripple Creek, Central City, and Black Hawk are the three remote towns in Colorado that will house all of the retail sports betting locations in the state, but all of these casinos are currently shut down due to the coronavirus.
With retail locations currently being closed, all of the sports betting was done through mobile or online wagering. Despite the limited number of sports, sportsbooks are pleased with the results through the first week.
DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook are both running several free-to-play contests to build up their customer base, but they have been offering bets on sports as well. While the most popular sports were not able to be offered during the first week, some unique sporting events still saw plenty of action.
DraftKings recently released a chart outlining the top sports that were bet on during the first week of legalized sports betting. Table tennis topped the list in the state of Colorado, while the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was a close second.
Table tennis led the Colorado sports betting industry in total handle and total number of bets. Sportsbooks such as DraftKings would not normally offer betting on table tennis, but these are some unusual times.
UFC ranked second in both categories, despite having just one event that didn’t even take place until May 9. UFC 249 was forced to be rescheduled several times, but bets were still available on all of the fights that were on the card. UFC became the first live sport to return following the coronavirus pandemic.
Korean Baseball ranked third on the list in total handle and total bets, and ESPN played a huge role in this. ESPN reached an agreement with the Korean Baseball Organization to broadcast one live game each day. Americans have been searching for a way to watch and bet on baseball as Major League Baseball continues to be shut down.
Belarus Premier League Soccer checked in at number four in both categories for the first week of live sports betting. The chart begins to get a little bit more confusing, with the fifth through 10th spots on the list.
International Tennis Series ranks number five in terms of total handle, while Liga Pro Short Hockey checks in at number six.
Chinese Taipei Baseball brought in the seventh-highest betting handle total during the first week, and Nicaragua Basketball was right behind at number eight.
Darts and Korean League Soccer round out the list in terms of what sports or leagues brought in the most total handle from May 1-May 7.
The total amount of bets placed on these sports or leagues varied a little bit from the total amount of betting handle, but the same sports made the list. Almost none of these sports or leagues would have been offered two months ago at DraftKings, but now they are prominently featured on the site.
DraftKings, BetRivers, and FanDuel have gotten a jump on the competition in Colorado, but they are expected to be joined by other sports betting companies soon. Experts predict that Colorado will become one of the biggest sports betting markets in the industry when casinos are allowed to reopen.
Many industry experts questioned the decision to launch sports betting on May 1, but early reports have indicated that it was the right decision. As more sports begin to resume throughout the United States, the total number of bets and betting handle is expected to increase.