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Colorado sports betting tops $2.3 billion in first year handle

Regulated sports betting is turning into a huge hit for Colorado’s regulated operators after just one full year of year legal play. According to reports released this week by the Colorado Division of Gaming, players dropped $2.3 billion in wagers in the Centennial State from May 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. The state’s astonishing sports betting success is all the more noteworthy given the fact that it launched regulated play during the height of its pandemic lockdown.

Colorado voters gave the thumbs up to legal sports betting back in November, 2019 and operators were ready for action on May 1 of 2020. Despite the pandemic, decades of pent-up demand drove players to throw down billions in wagers. Of that $2.3 billion in wagers, approximately $148 million turned in actual revenue. Of that $148 million, roughly $6.5 million will be used to fund water conservation projects in the bone dry western state.

According to a report in the Fort Morgan Times, Colorado players had a predilection for basketball and an odd affinity for table tennis. The top five most wagered on sports in the state for the first year of legal play were Basketball ($435 million); Football – Pro American ($383M million; NCAA basketball ($193 million); Baseball ($105 million); and Table tennis ($91 million).

Colorado Division of Gaming Director Dan Hartman lauded the state’s boffo first year of regulated sports betting in a press release saying, “The first year of sports betting exceeded our expectations, especially after we launched amid a worldwide pandemic that shuttered the casinos, the industry, and Colorado. Looking back on a year ago, I don’t believe any of us expected to be where we are with our numbers and our operations.”