Boosted by Football, CO Sports Betting Handle Surges 61% in September, Topping $200M

Proceeds for Colorado sports betting revenue topped $200 million for the first time in September, a 61% increase over August’s take, the Colorado Limited Gaming Commission announced Friday, Oct. 23. It marks the fifth consecutive month of at least double-digit gains.

The return of NFL football gave a big boost to the five-month-old market. In the Commission’s report for August, pro football took just $216,022.39 in wagers. For September, CO sports bettors wagered more than $38.6 million on the NFL.

Colorado sports betting wagers for September 2020 totaled more than $207.6 million, compared to just over $128 million for August. The market is quickly establishing its footing and for now its momentum seems unstoppable.

Online Sports Betting Dominance Continues

So far, Colorado sports bettors overwhelmingly choose apps as their preferred betting venue, with the percentage of wagers placed using apps typically in the high 90s. September was no different, with 98% of all wagers placed online and just 2% at the CO retail sportsbooks.

Interestingly, football betting in September marked the first month any sport has taken gross wagers of over $1 million at Colorado’s retail sportsbooks, making it the most popular sport to bet on at casinos in the state so far, despite its relatively recent arrival. Retail sportsbooks’ total take for September amounted to $3.73 million

The Top 5 Most Wagered Sports At Colorado Sportsbooks in September 2020

Football landed on the top 5 list with a big splash, going from #10 in August to #2 in September, narrowly edging out basketball. Only baseball managed to stay the course, climbing to #1 on the list for September. Table tennis has hung on to its spot in the top 5, despite the return of every pro sports league since the market launched in May, a sign its popularity in Colorado could outlive the pandemic.

  1. Baseball ($47.1 million)
  2. Football – Pro American ($38.6 million)
  3. Basketball ($37.7 million)
  4. Ice Hockey ($11.4 million)
  5. Table Tennis ($5.3 million)

What’s Next For CO Sports Betting?

September’s handle brings the cumulative amount wagered on sports in Colorado so far to within striking distance of $500 million, meaning it’s a stretch, but not out of the question that total wagers in 2020 will eclipse $1 billion. Considering the market launched in May in the middle of a pandemic, weathering both casino and pro sports league closures, it’s an astronomical sum.

There are currently 15 licensed operators in Colorado, and as many as nine more could be given the green-light by year’s end, according to Colorado Division of Gaming Director Dan Hartman. Four operators launched in September including William Hill. Considering the market’s challenging, mid-year start, which even now might be at only two-thirds saturation, the odds are better than even money that Colorado sports betting is on its way to being a multi-billion dollar market.

About the Author

Chris Nesi

Chris Nesi is Managing Editor of Colorado Sharp. He’s been an editor and writer for more than a decade, with experience spanning newspapers, magazines, digital news, and commercial writing. His work can be found in publications including TechCrunch, Mental Floss and Huffington Post. Chris lives just outside of Denver and enjoys regular trips to Black Hawk. He bets the hard ways and always splits 8s.