There was never really any question about whether or not regulated sports betting would be a hit in the United States. After all, black market betting had been pulling in hundreds of millions of dollars a year off the books for as long as anyone could remember. But did anyone really guess how quickly regulated sports betting would catch on and how much money American players would wager?
For a really good example of how quickly a regulated sports betting market can take off in a newly opened state, look no further than Colorado, the Centennial State (named because it achieved statehood in 1876). In November of 2019 Colorado voters approved a measure that would allow for both in-person and mobile sports betting. In May of 2020, the market opened up with approximately ten operators (and no sports for months at a time).
Despite the challenges of doing business in 2020 (see: no sports for months at a time), Colorado sports bettors racked up $ $1,185,754,617 in wagers since May. Of that handle, approximately $3,418,818 will flow back into State coffers.
In a press release from The Colorado Department of Revenue’s Division of Gaming, Dan Hartman, director of the Colorado Division of Gaming tooted his operation’s own horn saying, ““Hitting the $1 billion mark is a milestone event for the department, leading us to
believe that the trust and competition in the industry are leading bettors from the black
market to the regulated market. We believe the legal marketplace is having and will continue to have a
positive impact on Colorado.”
It will be very interesting to see if Colorado players keep up this breakneck sports betting pace as the world, hopefully, returns to normal.