Analysts at PlayColorado are predicting a significant upturn in fortunes for Colorado’s sportsbooks as the major North American sports leagues continue their return to action. Modest gains in June will, they said, likely pale in comparison to a July surge.
The comments follow the release of Colorado’s sportsbook revenues for June, the second full month of legal online sports betting in the state. During the period, online sportsbooks generated $38.1m in wagers, up 49% from $25.6m in bets in May. That resulted in $34.7m in payouts, a 50% uptick from $23.1 million in May.
In all, June produced operator revenue of $2.2m, up from $946,741 in May, yielding $217,023 in state taxes.
Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayColorado.com, said: “Considering Colorado’s online sportsbooks launched in the middle of a pandemic that had all but shut down major sports, the first two months of sports betting have surpassed expectations. That quick start should have Colorado’s online sportsbooks well-prepared for a much higher level of engagement, which is already happening.”
With Major League Baseball in play, the NBA close to its Orlando restart, the NHL set to drop the puck in early August, and the NFL season looming, the sports-betting environment should change drastically in the coming weeks.
Futures bets, particularly on baseball and the NBA, have been brisk in July, according to PlayColorado sources. And in Colorado, local betting interest — on the Rockies, Nuggets, and Avalanche — should only help drive championship wagering in the days ahead.
“Colorado is home to two legitimate championship contenders in the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche, and that will almost certainly draw significant action,” Gouker said. “In this environment, things can change quickly. But pent-up demand, the start of the Colorado Rockies season, and the restart of basketball should push July to something more closely resembling a normal month.”
Since online sportsbooks launched May 1, Colorado’s sports bettors have been getting by on less conventional sports. Table tennis again drew the most wagers with $9.1m in June, accounting for one-quarter of the state’s handle for the month and resulting in $8.6m payouts. In May, table tennis drew $6.6m in bets.
In addition, bettors had been limited to online sportsbooks. While the majority of all bets will continue to be made online, the slow opening of retail sportsbooks across the state will offer new areas of engagement.
“Sportsbooks have been creative in engaging bettors, and that will help when major US sports restart,” Gouker addded. “Retail sports betting sites will help, too. July and August should be exciting months for the industry.”