Colorado sportsbooks earned $250m in revenue on nearly $4bn in wagers in 2021, making it the sixth-largest US state in terms of annual betting volume, according to PlayColorado, which tracks the state’s regulated sports betting market.
According to data released by the Colorado Division of Gaming, the Centennial State’s sportsbooks took in $461.4m in wagers ($454.9m in online bets) in December, up 62.6% year-over-year (December 2020: $284.6m). The month’s handle fell short of November’s $475.4m and a record $491.5m in October.
Sportsbooks earned $24.7m in gross revenue from December’s bets, down from November’s record $36.8m, but a 44.2% improvement YoY (December 2020: $17.2m).
Net sports betting proceeds were short of the previous month’s $19.3m to $5.3m (December 2020: $5.7m), yielded $770,370 in state taxes, breaking a two-month streak that saw tax revenue greater than $1m.
Ian St Clair, the lead analyst for PlayColorado.com, commented: “The last three months of 2021 really put an exclamation point on what has been relentless growth all year. Coloradoans continue to wager at a pace on par with more populous states, and it is still a market that has not yet fully matured. The state’s sportsbooks are in a really good place.”
In 2021, Colorado sportsbooks generated $3.85bn in wagers (2020: $1.2bn), placing the state sixth in betting volume for the year among legal sports wagering jurisdictions in the US.
98.4% of all bets ($3.79bn) were online (2020: $1.1bn), the highest rate in the country.
Sportsbooks earned $250.1m in gross revenue (2020: $75.8m), and paid $11.7m in state taxes (2020: $2.96m).
Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com network, which includes PlayColorado.com, added: “By nearly every metric Colorado is hitting above its weight class, with the exception of the tax revenue sports betting generates.
“Importantly, tax revenue ramped up at the end of the year, which is a positive development. That could continue as the market expands and sportsbooks begin to taper their promotions.”
Sportsbooks were able to finish the year strong due to basketball betting becoming more popular, particularly the NBA. Pro football took $136.5m in wagers in December (November: $140.3m), with pro basketball just behind with $125.5m (November: $124.7m).
However, pro basketball drew the most bets in 2021 overall at $958m, followed by pro football at $689.2m.
St Clair added: “Interest in the Nuggets combined with the Broncos’ struggles contributed to the leveling of interest in football and basketball in December.
“Football is popular in every legal US market. But a hallmark of the highest volume US markets is that the NBA, with its 82-game regular season and long postseason, tends to be a more consistent bet producer than the NFL. Colorado is clearly fitting into that pattern.”