Colorado Posts Record-Breaking December with $284M Handle

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Colorado has posted another sports betting handle record in December with $284.6 million, concluding the year with a $1 billion-plus handle.

According to the figures released by the Colorado Division of Gaming on Monday, the December handle represented a 23% increase from November’s $231.2 million. However, taxes raised in December totaled $531,489, a dip from November’s $793,820. Overall, the Centennial State achieved a whopping $1.2 billion sports betting handle in eight months since its launch on May 1, 2020.

Exciting Figures

Between May 1 and December 31, 2020, Colorado took a total sports betting handle of $1,185,754,617, and extracted taxes of $3,418,818. These exciting figures led the Colorado Department of Revenue’s executive director, Mark Ferrandino, to express thrill over the success of a regulated sports betting program, especially in the year that was largely eclipsed by the pandemic.

The Centennial State’s impressive sports betting performance is largely due to its competitive online sports betting market with around 20 sportsbook operators, mild regulations, and a huge fan base for professional and college sports teams. There is also plenty of room for the state still to flourish as the sports betting industry is still in its embryonic stages, not even taking a full circle. So, these boastful figures are good indicators for an industry that has still not matured. By May 2021, Colorado sports betting is expected to draw $2 billion in handle, according to industry analysts.

While speaking on this milestone, the Colorado Division of Gaming director Dan Hartman said, “Hitting the $1 billion mark is a milestone event for the Division, leading us to believe that the trust and competition in the Colorado sports betting industry are drawing bettors from the black market to the regulated market.” Hartman added the department believes the legal marketplace will also continue to have this positive impact on the Centennial State.

Detailed Numbers

The record-breaking figure of December handle ($284 million), brought with it $17.2 million in revenue, representing a 6.6% fall from the $18.4 million achieved in November. Besides, sports betting proceeds dipped to $5.7 million, falling from $9 million recorded in November.

Overall, the accumulated sports betting handle of the Colorado sports betting since its May launch to the close of the year was:

  • $1.2 billion in bets, of which $1.17 billion came online
  • $75.8 million in gross gaming revenue
  • $28 million-plus in net betting proceeds
  • $3 million in state taxes

With December handle, Colorado became the fifth state to top $1 billion in overall handle since the US Supreme Court struck down PASPA in May 2018.

Online Sports Betting & Football Pervade

The most surprising number of the Colorado sports betting handle in December was that more than $280 million was wagered online, making it 98.5% of the total betting handle. It represented a 23.6% increase from November’s $226.9 million, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue’s monthly report. This is largely because of the pandemic-led safety measures, including the self-imposed restrictions among the bettors, who prefer a safe betting environment by wagering online. Another reason for the growing tendency towards online betting is because of its inherent convenience that most bettors are reporting nowadays.

In December, the top five sports among Colorado bettors saw professional football leading with $88.1 million (roughly the same as November). The second most popular sport was professional basketball ($42.8 million), followed by College basketball with $35.2 million. College football stood fourth with $14.9 million, and table tennis with $10.9 million managed the fifth-most popular sport among Colorado bettors for the month of December.

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