Soaring Mile High: Colorado Sports Betting Reports Over $59 Million In July Handle

Posted By Grant Lucas on August 28, 2020 - Last Updated on August 31, 2020

It comes as no surprise that Colorado sports betting continues to follow an upward trajectory.

With major sports returning for the final week-plus of July, operators reported $59.2 million in accepted wagers last month. That’s roughly a 55% spike from June’s total.

Arguably, the still-new legalized sports betting industry could have pulled more. After all, the Centennial State featured a handful of retail sportsbooks as well as 10 online platforms.

Colorado continues to trend upward, and it’s hot on Indiana‘s heels as a top-five sports betting market in America.

Colorado sports betting growing quickly despite being young

In a mere three months, Colorado went from having no legalized sports betting to having a budding industry. Since sports betting went live May 1, the state has welcomed in 11 online operators, not to mention five retail sportsbooks and another two locations with betting kiosks open.

To boot, over a pandemic-riddled summer mostly devoid of major sports, sportsbooks in the state have attracted $122.9 million in wagers. And July was Colorado’s best month yet, featuring online sportsbooks accounting for 99% of the overall handle and revenue checking in at $5.2 million. The $59.1 million handle in July nearly matched the handle in Colorado’s first two months ($63.8 million) combined.

There’s no doubt that that brief window of major sports — including a week of MLB and a few days of NBA action — contributed. In fact, baseball became the most wagered-on sport in July at $9.2 million. Soccer and table tennis rounded out the top three, at $7.2 million and $5.9 million, respectively. And just behind golf ($4.8 million) was basketball with $3.3 million.

Still a long way to go to reach the top

Driven by all this, Colorado moved into the number five spot for largest handle among legal US jurisdictions, nipping at the heels of Indiana at $70.9 million.

Obviously, Nevada and New Jersey continue to lead the pack, with Pennsylvania solidly in the third spot.

For perspective, in July, Nevada took in $65.4 million in handle, while New Jersey reported $59.6 million — both figures only representing wagers made on baseball.

That said, Colorado is a sports-crazy state, home to professional franchises in each of the big four sports. Already, operators have seen the hunger for regulated wagering. That will certainly continue into the next month.

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Demand for sports betting rises in Colorado

That short time frame of major sports is all the example needed to prove bettors’ thirst for legalized sports betting.

With August mostly filled with three of the big four sports, it should set another state record for handle and revenue.

Yet July’s numbers are not quite sound enough to generate an accurate analysis. One could argue that Colorado should have reported higher handle with its still-expanding market of online and retail sportsbooks. But it wasn’t a true full month of major sports.

So it seems unfair to make a judgment of Colorado’s performance to date. Not even sportsbooks can. August will provide a better gauge, what with essentially a full month of MLB, NBA and NHL action.

As it stands, it seems pointless to call July’s numbers either promising or disappointing. Rather, they’re just another swing in the on-deck circle, and August will be the true first at-bat.

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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is a longtime sports writer who has covered the high school, collegiate and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant has covered games and written features and columns surrounding prep sports, Linfield and Oregon State athletics, the Portland Trail Blazers and golf throughout his career.

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