Colorado Sports Betting Revenue

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.

February 2021 Colorado Sports Betting Revenue Totals

MonthTotal Betting HandleMobile HandleRetail HandleNet ProceedsM/M Handle Change %% Of Handle From Mobile
February 2021$266,549,207$258,219,369$8,329,837$175,275-18.5%96.9%

Following last month’s record-high betting handle, Colorado sportsbooks realized an 18.5% decline in month-to-month handle in February. With football season officially over, Colorado’s sportsbooks produced $266,549,207 in combined mobile and retail betting handle.

The Colorado Division of Gaming uses the term “Net Sports Betting Proceeds” (NSBP) to report net revenue for the state’s sportsbooks. NSBP for February 2021 ended up at $175,275. Retail sportsbooks took a (-$568,004) net loss, while mobile sportsbooks ended the month in the black at $743,279 in NSBP.

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.

January marked the first time for monthly tax revenue to top the $1 million mark in the short history of Colorado’s sports betting industry. If that trend holds throughout 2021, the state stands to collect upward of $10 million in sports betting taxes by the end of the year.

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.

January’s numbers marked a 14.9% increase in month-to-month handle. December’s monthly handle mark of $284.5 million stood as the previous Colorado monthly handle high mark.

February’s combined betting handle came in at $266.5 million, marking the first time that figure has seen a month-to-month decrease since the launch of sports betting in Colorado.

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 $11,730,059 in net proceeds for the month, with 96.1% of the figure coming from mobile sports betting apps.

The January numbers put Colorado on pace to top $100 million in revenue by the end of the year. February saw mobile NSBP drop significantly month-to-month, with the books netting a combined $743,278.72.

Colorado Betting Handle: Online Vs. Retail February 2021

The dominance of mobile sports betting plays a more significant in Colorado than any other state. In every month since Colorado launched sports wagering, at least 96% of overall bets come from online sports betting.

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

MonthTotal Betting HandleMobile HandleRetail HandleNet ProceedsM/M Handle Change %Mobile %
December 2020$284,551,471.72$280,443,909.98$4,107,561.74$5,676,627.49
+23%98.6%
November 2020$231,238,842.15$226,872,186.87$4,366,655.28$8,977,426.77+9.7%
98.1%
October 2020$210,719,821.27$206,441,153,59$4,278,667.68$9,642,955.84+1.5%
98%
September 2020$207,655,942.72$203,882,793.41$3,773,149.31-$3,394,190.44+61%
98%
August 2020$128,646,209.09$126,666,237.91$1,979,971.18$1,877,911.13+117%
98.5%
July 2020$59,183,619.73$58,600,805.04$582,814.69$2,417,311.01+55.2%
96.8%
June 2020$38,136,949.16N/AN/A$2,169,977.98+48.8%N/A
May 2020$25,621,761.63N/AN/A$946,741.34N/AN/A
2020 Totals$1,185,754,617.47
$28,314,761.12

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, for example Rhode Island (51% tax rate) and Delaware (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

What is the Colorado sports betting license fee?

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.

Where does Colorado sports betting tax revenue go?

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.

How much tax revenue does Colorado sports betting take in?

You can see our revenue page above for a full month-by-month breakdown, but in the first three months of legal sports betting in Colorado (May, June, July 2020), the state collected $5,534,030.33 in sports betting tax revenue.

How much money has been bet on Colorado spots betting so far?

Again, scroll up to see our full sport-by-sport breakdown, but for the first three months of legal CO sports betting, a total of $122,942,330.52 has been wagered so far.

About the Author

Geoffrey Fisk

Geoff Fisk is a San Diego-based freelance writer, specializing in the poker and gambling industries. He’s written for numerous platforms and has traveled the globe as a live poker tournament reporter. Geoff’s interests include the legal online poker industry in the U.S. and abroad. Follow Geoff on Twitter at @GeoffFisk