Colorado Sports Betting Supercharged By Football Bets In September

Written By J.R. Duren on November 14, 2022
Colorado sports betting numbers soared in September

Thank God for football.

That’s likely the word around the Colorado Department of Revenue, which released a report this week revealing a 55% increase in total Colorado sports betting handle in September.

“Following year-to-year trends, the return of the professional and college football season once again resulted in big results for sports betting wagers and taxes in Colorado,” the department said in a statement.

NFL bets accounted for the biggest share in September, followed by baseball and NCAA football.

September sports betting numbers impressive on multiple levels

When looking at Colorado sports betting revenue numbers, it’s important to view them in context. Month-on-month and year-on-year comparisons are key metrics to track. And, in September, Colorado’s numbers were impressive on both accounts.

Compared to August, September’s numbers were spectacular:

  • A 55.2% increase in total handle (the dollar amount gambled)
  • A 54.8% increase in online handle
  • A 98.9% increase in retail handle (bets placed at casino sportsbooks)

The sports betting industry showed solid overall and online growth compared to September 2021, too:

  • A 10.3% increase in total handle
  • A 10.6% increase in online handle

However, a year-on-year comparison reveals a -17.1% in retail sports betting handle.

Gross gaming revenue and win percentage boomed in September

In addition to the big jump in handle in September, the state saw some considerable growth in gross gaming revenue (GGR) and win percentage (GGR/total handle):

  • $51.3 million in total handle in September 2022 compared to $22.7 million in 2021
  • $50.7 million in online handle in September 2022 compared to $22.3 million in 2021

Sports betting operators’ overall win percentage jumped from 5.55% in September 2021 to 11.40% in September 2022.

What led to the increase in the win rate? It’s possible that Denver Broncos fans contributed to that figure. The Broncos have underperformed across the board this year. The team is 2-7 against the spread this year.

Football fuels the biggest share of bets

In September, football accounted for 44.1% of all bets in the state (32.4% for pro football, 11.7% for NCAA football). Baseball was second at 18.5%, and tennis had the third-biggest share at 7.3%.

Here’s a look at the handle for the top three sports by bet share:

  • Football: $195.7 million
  • Baseball: $82.5 million
  • Tennis: $33.0 million

Month-on-month, pro football bets saw a jump of more than 600%, with bettors going light on preseason bets and pouring in more than $140 million when the regular season started.

Photo by AP Photo/Steve Luciano/PlayUSA
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J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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