Despite the lack of sporting events to wager on, the fledgling Colorado sports betting industry has managed to produce strong numbers during its first two months.
In May, more than $25 million was wagered at legal online sportsbooks in Colorado. That number jumped to nearly $40 million in June, despite table tennis being the most wagered on sport.
What Does the Future Hold for Colorado Sports Betting?
Looking ahead to July, the return of familiar sports leagues like the MLB, the NBA, and the NHL will bolster the state’s sports betting numbers. And further down the road is the juggernaut that is the NFL.
That said, numerous athletes across all sports are testing positive for COVID-19 (most notably the outbreak among Miami Marlins), and NFL players are opting-out of playing the upcoming season at an alarming rate. That leaves leagues standing on a razor’s edge, and the prospects of another shutdown are a constant threat.
And don’t lose sight of the fact that it was Rudy Goebert’s positive test back in March that hammered home the seriousness of the Coronavirus outbreak in the US that quickly led to the suspension of all major sports.
As disheartening as it might be, the return of sports could be short-lived.
Tax Revenue Comes Up Short of Expectations
Sports betting was supposed to contribute $16 million annually into the state’s coffers, but those projections were before COVID-19.
The state is well off that pace, which has led to some crying foul when it comes to how the industry and its advocates have been approaching legislatures promising pots of gold. The rebuttal is, of course, how could anyone have foreseen the current situation we find ourselves in?
Of course, overpromising and underdelivering isn’t new. Even before COVID-19, states across the country were a bit dismayed at the amount of revenue their newly legalized sportsbooks were bringing in.
Colorado’s Retail and Online Sports Betting Operators
The Colorado Limited Gaming Commission has issued and approved a total of 25 internet operator licenses and 19 retail sportsbook operator licenses. A complete list of licensees is available on the Betting USA Colorado state page.
Unfortunately, the Colorado Department of Revenue doesn’t breakout sports betting handle and revenue by operator, so we are left to guess at what books are performing well in the market. That’s a shame considering the market consists of some of the top dogs in the nascent US sports betting industry, as well as some late arrivals like the popular sports betting exchange Smarkets.
The active online operators in the Colorado sports betting market in June were:
Two other online sportsbooks joined the market in July, BetWildwood, and Circa Sports. And the state’s first retail sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook at Mardi Gras Casino in Black Hawk, also opened its doors in July.