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Colorado Sends National Post-PASPA Handle Over $200 Billion



The Colorado Department of Revenue reported sports wagering handle of $547.2 million for the month of January late Thursday, sending the all-time national amount wagered in the post-PASPA era over $200 billion.

The Centennial State has made a notable contribution to that total, being one of seven states to surpass $10 billion in handle. Colorado has had sports wagering in 33 of the 56 months since it became legal on a state-by-state basis and is part of a formidable sports betting trio of Western U.S. states with Nevada and Arizona.

It was the fourth consecutive month Colorado sportsbooks accepted more than half a billion dollars in bets and the sixth time overall. The handle was 5.6% higher than December’s $518.1 million, but 4.6% off the record $573.7 million generated in January 2022.

Gross revenue totaled $35.5 million, as the 6.5% hold was the lowest reported by state sportsbooks since a miserly 2.2% in June. Bettors nearly broke even at retail sportsbooks, with the house collecting barely more than $106,000 from $4.9 million wagered.

The state was able to levy taxes on $22.5 million in adjusted gross revenue, which was 13% lower than December but nearly double year-over-year. With the bulk of operator revenue originating from mobile betting, Colorado actually had a slightly higher inflow into its tax coffers, with the $2.6 million an increase of $2,746 from December and $1.1 million above the start of 2022.

Slight decline in Super Bowl handle

Maybe it was the miserable Broncos season or just a desire to avoid watching a division rival play in the Super Bowl, but Colorado bettors were not particularly into Super Bowl LVII. The Department of Revenue reported handle totaling almost $38 million wagered as the Kansas City Chiefs rallied past the Philadelphia Eagles, a decline of 7.5% from the $41 million in bets placed last year, when the Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals.

Pro football handle totaled $122.2 million in January, a decline of 15.2% from the same period last year. Revenue did tick higher to $7.3 million, as the hold barely cleared 6%. Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets were the big draw to start 2023, as pro basketball wagering reached $178 million — up 8.8% from 2022 and the second-highest total in state history behind the $218.4 million in accepted bets last March. Bettors held the house under a 4% win rate, as operators claimed $7 million in winnings.

Compared to their peers in states where parlay handle and revenue is reported, Colorado bettors more than held their own on multi-leg wagers. The $14.5 million operators claimed on those bets was the highest in any category, but the 14.9% hold from $97.2 million handle was 4.7 percentage points lower than December and in line with the all-time hold of 15.1%.

With all five Division I men’s college basketball teams struggling this season, NCAA hoops wagering also took a hit, as handle slid 20.4% compared to last year to $50.2 million. That figure, though, was 51.7% higher than December’s $33.1 million. Bettors came out nearly $33,000 ahead on those wagers.

Tennis was the third-highest revenue generator among sports, with operators picking up more than $2.2 million from $29 million handle. Soccer wagering fell off post-World Cup by 36% to $16.3 million, but revenue surged 70.9% to $1.7 million, as the 10.5% hold was the third in double digits in the last five months.

Table tennis, the long-popular niche sport for wagering in Colorado, had a double-digit hold for the first time in state history at 10.3% on $4.2 million wagered. That was more than three full percentage points higher compared to December, offsetting an 18.6% dip in handle and creating a 19.4% increase in revenue.

More on the national milestone

Though not official until Arizona releases its figures for both December and January, both months will have more than $10 billion in national handle, as it took less than six months to get from $150 billion to $200 billion. Ohio‘s entrance into the marketplace in January and subsequent $1.1 billion debut handle helped sustain the momentum from the NFL season last fall, though it will ebb after the conclusion of March Madness.

Colorado’s handle totals each of the last four months rank in the top five all-time in state history, and the $2.1 billion wagered in that span is 7% higher than the comparable period from 2021 into 2022.

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