Colorado voters approved Proposition DD in November 2019, paving the way for sports betting in the state by the slimmest of margins, 51% in favor and 49% opposed. The market officially launched on May 1, 2020, right as pro sports were delaying or canceling their seasons, and six weeks into statewide mandatory casino closures in light of COVID-19.
In spite of those long odds, Colorado’s inaugural month of sports betting took in an impressive amount of revenue by any measure. As the months progress, this page will be updated with the new monthly revenue totals as soon as the Colorado Limited Gaming Commission releases the figures.
2021 Colorado Sports Betting Revenue Totals
|Month||Total Betting Handle||Mobile Handle||Retail Handle||Net Proceeds||M/M Handle Change %||% Of Handle From Mobile|
Colorado had a steady spring season for their total handle between $230 and $250 million, but this figure dipped by over 21% for the month of July to $181.3 million. This is mostly due to major sports leagues concluding their seasons, which featured fewer options to bet on.
The NBA wrapped up with the Finals and accounted for 15% of sports wagers in the state. Baseball had the most betting with just over a third of all action.
The Colorado Division of Gaming uses the term “Net Sports Betting Proceeds” (NSBP) to report net revenue for the state’s sportsbooks. NSBP for July 2021 ended up at $9,598,984. Since April, retail sportsbooks continue to see revenue in the black with July ending with $237,793 in NSBP. Mobile revenue accounted for 97.5% of revenue with $9.36 million.
Charting Colorado Sports Betting
Colorado Month-To-Month Sports Betting Tax Revenue 2020-21
Colorado takes a 10% tax from the “Net Sports Betting Proceeds” (NSBP) generated by online and retail sportsbooks in the state. After a relatively modest start out of the gate for the state’s sports betting industry, NSBP and tax revenue boomed in the fall sports season and throughout Spring 2021.
Monthly tax revenue has cleared the $1 million mark in four months of 2021, and it nearly eclipsed that mark in July with $999,110. Between January and July, the total tax revenue sits at $6.49 million Considering another boost in the upcoming football season is expected, the aggregated total should finish well past the $10 million threshold.
Colorado Month-To-Month Betting Handle 2020-21
Colorado’s sports betting industry rode an upward trend all the way from the May 2020 launch through the end of the year. January 2021 marked a strong start to the new year for Colorado’s sports betting industry, with a new record-high of $326.9 million in overall betting handle.
The Centennial State hasn’t topped that month-to-month betting handle in January. July’s figure of $181.3 million is the lowest amount of wagers taken since August 2020. The downward trend may continue in August, but this is expected to ramp up over the coming fall months.
Colorado Month-To-Month Net Sports Betting Proceeds 2021 (Mobile Only)
“Net Proceeds” refers to total revenue taken in by Colorado sportsbooks after subtracting customer acquisition promos like risk-free bets and deposit match bonuses.
Colorado’s monthly net sports betting proceeds went over the $10 million mark for the first time in January 2021. Colorado’s sportsbooks produced $11.7 million in net proceeds for the month with 96.1% of the figure coming from mobile sports betting apps.
That $10 million threshold was surpassed in the months of March, April, and June. May saw the second-lowest total revenue of the year with $5.9 million. July ended the month with total revenue at $9.6 million.
Colorado Betting Handle: Online Vs. Retail For 2021
The dominance of mobile sports betting plays a more significant in Colorado than any other state. Over the first seven months of the year, mobile betting has dominated sports betting revenue in Colorado, never dipping below a 96% share. This is in part due to ongoing COVID-related issues and the convenience of betting from a computer or mobile device.
Land-based sports betting in the state is limited to casinos in three small mountain towns, as well as two tribal casinos. That landscape should continue to favor mobile wagering in Colorado for the long-term future.
2020 Colorado Sports Betting Revenue Totals
|Month||Total Betting Handle||Mobile Handle||Retail Handle||Net Proceeds||M/M Handle Change %||Mobile %|
2020 Revenue Analysis
December 2020 finished up a year of steady growth for Colorado’s young sports betting industry. Overall betting handle gained month-to-month for every month following the May 2020 launch of sports betting.
Combined betting handle (online and retail) hit a new monthly high in December, with Colorado sportsbooks taking $284.5 million in bets. The strong December showing pushed betting handle to the $1.185 billion mark for 2020.
That $1 billion mark comes in just eight months of operations for Colorado’s sports betting industry. Of that total, 98 percent of wagers came from mobile wagering apps.
The strength of Colorado’s sports betting market comes from the viability of the state’s online sportsbooks. The Centennial State offers no less than 16 different online sports betting sites, and Colorado finished the year as one of the top five online sports betting markets in the US.
Where Does All That Money Go?
According to the Colorado Department of Revenue, the state collected $96,537.55 in taxes on proceeds of $946,741.34 from sports betting in May.
Colorado’s tax rate is 10% of gross gaming revenue (GGR), meaning 10 cents of every dollar made by casinos and sportsbooks go to the state. Colorado is considered a friendly tax environment with 10% on the low end of other states’ ranges. By comparison, Rhode Island is at a 51% tax rate and Delaware sits at a 50% tax rate.
According to Colorado gaming regulations, the first $130,000 in tax revenue collected is set aside by the state to pay for gambling addiction services, including a gambling crisis hotline and gambling addiction counselors.
Six percent of the tax, up to a $1.7 million maximum, is put into a hold harmless fund, which is meant to compensate casino or other gambling companies who experience financial losses that are provably linked to sports betting. These guidelines are all according to provisions of Proposition DD.
The balance of tax revenue, 66% for fiscal year 2020-2021, goes to fund Colorado’s state water plan, which aims to conserve and preserve water in the state to support its growing population, a project whose costs could exceed $40 billion, according to 2017 estimates.
Colorado Sports Betting Revenue FAQ
Fees to operate a legal sports betting business in Colorado differ depending if you intend to run a retail or online operation. Effective July 2020, an Internet Sports Betting Operator license costs $77,000. To obtain a license for a retail sportsbook, the license fee is $17,900.
Colorado’s tax rate is 10% of gross gaming revenue (GGR), which means 10 cents of every dollar made by casinos and sportsbooks goes into state coffers.
According to Colorado gaming regulations, the first $130,000 in sports betting tax revenue collected is set aside by the state to pay for gambling addiction services.
Six percent of the tax, up to a $1.7 million maximum, is put into a hold harmless fund, which is meant to compensate casino or other gambling companies who experience financial losses that are provably linked to sports betting.
The balance of tax revenue, 66% for fiscal year 2020-2021, goes to fund Colorado’s state water plan, which aims to conserve and preserve water in the state to support its growing population.
You can see above in our revenue page for a full month-by-month breakdown. Over the first seven months of 2021, Colorado tax revenue on sports betting is just under $6.5 million
Scroll up to see our full breakdown. The total handle for 2021 through July is nearly $1.8 billion.