Colorado Collects Record Revenue From Sports Betting in January

Sportsbooks in Colorado helped collect a record all-time monthly high of $53.5 million in gaming revenue for the state in Jan. 2024. That broke the previous record of $51.3 million collected by the state in Sept. 2022, which was the only other instance when Colorado had revenue over $50 million.

Online sports betting accounted for $53.3 million of the state’s gross gaming revenue (gross wagers – payouts to users), while retail betting made up under $200,000 of the total collection in Colorado. Interestingly, the average total win percentage in the online category was 9% while retail hold equated to 4.23%, under half of the online collections. There are only three locations where retail betting is legal in Colorado: Cripple Creek, Black Hawk, and Central City.

Here is more on Colorado sports betting revenue.

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Basketball Leads Betting Wagering in Colorado

While parlays and combination bets accounted for 45.1% of the total wagers, basketball dominated the rest of the bets with 22.7%. Total wagers for basketball amounted to $135.3 million with a payout of just over $128 million, resulting in a cumulative profit of $7 million across both retail and online betting.

In terms of profit, sportsbooks collected over $10 million on the NFL (classified as Pro American Football), with $86.1 million in wagers and just $75.9 million in payouts. That was the highest delta in Jan. 2024 on any single sport in Colorado. In stark contrast, players cleaned up the operators in college football. A total of $4.8 million was wagered on NCAA football but sportsbooks paid out $6.1 million to players.

Tennis and soccer also contributed seven-figure collections to sportsbooks. More than $21 million was wagered in tennis with a payout of $19.3 million while $14 million was wagered in soccer with a payout of $12.6 million.

There was a real battle between the house and players in ice hockey in January. A total of $11.8 million was collected in wagers on the sport with $11.65 million returned as payout to the players.

Parlays were a significant contributor to the total revenue collection in Colorado in January. A total of $268.3 million was staked online on parlays or combination bets, which include a wide array of methods of combining different markets into a single bet. Of that total, players were paid out $237.6 million, giving the state of Colorado a healthy profit margin on this form of sports betting.

CO Total Wagers Drops in January

Total handle dropped significantly since Dec. 2023, plausibly due to the slowdown in volume of NFL games with the playoffs. A record $716.3 million was wagered in December, but that figure dropped by more than 16% in January.

In terms of pure gross numbers, $596.7 million was collected by the state as handle for Jan. 2024. At this time in the preceding year, Colorado collected handle of $547.2 million, a sign that the total wagering appetite for sports betting in Colorado has only increased, albeit not by exponential percentages. This consistency in Colorado was visible right from the outset, with January of last year marking the fourth consecutive month when the state collected over $500 million in wagers.

However, most of the other metrics were strong, with gross revenue up more than 50% from Jan. 2023, an indicator of healthy metrics considered on an annual basis. Total tax contributions for January were $4.12 million, with more than $4 million of that paid out by online sports betting operators, another strong indicator of a steady ecosystem for sports betting and tax collection in Colorado.

What Lies Ahead for Colorado?

With the NFL’s offseason having begun, wagers on football will drop dramatically in the coming months till the lead-up of the new season. However, with the Denver Nuggets presently third in the West in the NBA and that postseason approaching, it would be safe to forecast that the difference in wagers would move directly to basketball betting.

Colorado’s sports betting consistency has been significant for tax collection. With operators shifting temporary attention to the North Carolina online sports betting launch, there could be a reallocation of budgets that will result in lesser spending on promotional methods, such as bonus bets. However, it has been clear that Colorado’s numbers at the start of 2024 have stayed in line with expected forecasts, and that should continue right through the year.


About the Author
Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro covers the sports betting industry and revenue reporting at Gaming Today. Much of his work analyzes state revenue information, including betting activity and revenue for individual states and sportsbook operators. In addition, Nikhil provides news updates on the gambling industry itself, including product launches and legal issues. Nikhil’s previous experience includes five years with ESPN.

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