After only four months of operation, the Colorado sports betting sector registered a significant achievement, thanks in part to a boost from an unlikely source.
Betting handle during the month of August doubled on the figure for July, to an impressive $128.6 million, a rapid rise in sports betting enthusiasm that was undoubtedly helped by a packed sports schedule in what is usually one of the quieter months of the US sports year.
That figure was supported by action in the NBA, NHL, and MLB, but one of the biggest successes of the lockdown period, table tennis, also played a major role. The sport was a mainstay for sports betting in Colorado during the months when most sports were locked down, and during the month of August, that popularity remained, with ‘ping pong’ being worth $4.53 million in the betting handle, a figure that put it at fourth overall in the list of most lucrative sports, ahead of golf, soccer and tennis.
Not surprisingly, baseball, basketball, and hockey topped the list of sports betting in Colorado during August, as the three major leagues resumed their postponed action. In total, the sports accounted for a combined handle of $74.4 million, representing just short of 58% of the total.
And sports betting operators in the state are hoping that the big leagues will lead the way in revenue throughout the autumn. September has seen the first opportunity for sports betting fans in the state to wager on NFL action as the season launched. There is good reason to hope for more during the autumn as Colorado aims to continue its sports betting expansion.
And although the NBA has now finished, the NFL will be gathering pace over the weeks ahead, and the end of October will see the climax of the World Series in MLB. Meanwhile, sports such as golf, which contributed $4.58 million in betting handled during August, will offer a busy schedule to enthusiastic sports betting fans in the Centennial State.
In the race to legalize sports betting in the US, following the Supreme Court decision of May 2018, Colorado had been in the middle of the pack. The legislation needed to introduce a sports betting sector wasn’t passed in the state legislature until November 2019, and the various regulations weren’t in place until the start of May this year.
At that point, the coronavirus pandemic lockdown was in full effect, with all the major US sports and casinos out of action. But what might have been an ignominious failure turned out to be an inspiration to other states planning on introducing sports betting. Whereas some states have been slow to allow mobile sports betting, Colorado has embraced online betting, and the result is that this sector was able to contribute nearly 99% of the sports betting handle during August.
The durability of the online sports betting market in Colorado, which currently supports 13 online sportsbooks, should be a lesson to other states whose sports betting sector has been largely confined to casinos and racetrack betting venues.
And the market still has plenty of room to grow. According to reports, a number of big-name sports betting operators, including Bet365, BetAmerica, Barstool Sportsbook, and SuperBook USA, are set to launch operations in the state over the next few months, making Colorado one of the nation’s leading bases for sports betting.