Sports Betting Industry Growing in Colorado

The sports betting industry in Colorado was expected to become a huge force, and that indeed appears to be the case based on the September numbers. Sports betting handle in September jumped more than 60 percent from August, and those numbers are expected to continue to increase in the coming months.

Colorado posted a new record, $207.65 million in sports betting handle in September, but those numbers will likely be surpassed again next month. The state continues to see new operators launch, and the return of football has helped the industry post some impressive numbers.

Even though the sports betting handle was up during the month of September, taxable revenue was actually -3.39 million. Sportsbooks have been offering plenty of promotions during September, and it caused the industry to lose a ton of money.

Retail sportsbooks actually posted revenue of almost $400,000 during September, but the online industry was not as successful. Online sportsbooks lost almost 3.8 million last month, and the sportsbooks were focused more on getting customers rather than bringing in revenue.

Mobile betting accounted for almost 98 percent of the wagers placed during September, and that is expected to be the norm moving forward. All of the retail sports betting locations in Colorado are located in remote towns in the Rocky Mountains.

Colorado continues to be one of the fastest-growing markets in the United States sports betting industry, and the state has been able to attract several big-name operators. Nevada has traditionally dominated the market in the Western part of the United States, but Colorado is quickly closing the gap.

There are currently 15 different online gaming operators in Colorado, with a handful more expected to launch soon. All of close to 40 casinos in the state are eligible to partner with a sports betting operator, leaving plenty of sports betting skins available.

Industry Waiting on Pac-12 Football

Even though Colorado continues to see growth in its sports betting industry, the state is still waiting on the launch of Pac-12 Football. That league is expected to begin play in November, which will provide a huge boost to the sports betting industry.

Baseball was the most popular sport to bet on during September, even though both professional and college football launched during that month. Sportsbooks are expecting to see some huge numbers when bettors are allowed to place action on local college football teams.

Baseball generated a total betting handle of more than $47 million last month to lead the market. Betting on the National Football League brought in an additional $38.6 million in September.

Both of these markets actually cost sportsbooks in Colorado money, as promotions allowed bettors to collect on very favorable odds. Betting on basketball and hockey actually brought in some revenue to the sportsbooks in Colorado, but it did not cover for the losses.

Overall Revenue Disappointing in Colorado

Colorado residents narrowly approved a sports betting referendum last November, but those voters were under the assumption that the industry would bring in massive revenue for the state. Even though the industry is off to a great start in Colorado, the state has yet to see major returns from sports betting.

September numbers generated less than $700,000 in tax revenue for the state of Colorado, which is way less than the amount predicted. Sportsbooks have continued to offer some great promotions to customers, and it has hurt the revenue output for the state.

These issues will likely be fixed at some point in 2021, but the sports betting industry has yet to help the state recover from the COVID-19 pandemic as expected.


A sports enthusiast, Ryan helps cover sports betting news from around the country, highlighting some of the more interesting events going on in the USA.