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Colorado Sports Gambling In February Saw Revenue Uptick 26.3% Year-On-Year; Will State Consider Online Casinos?

Written By J.R. Duren | Updated:
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Colorado, you have grown.

The Centennial State’s sports betting market posted huge year-on-year handle gains in February, according to data from the Colorado Division of Gaming. Revenue topped out at around $540 million, up 26.1% over February’s total of just over $425 million.

Month-on-month, sportsbooks couldn’t keep up with Colorado’s January 2024 sports betting numbers, falling 10%.

Because Colorado has robust sports gambling and commercial casino markets, it has frequently been mentioned as a state that could take up online casinos next.

Although PlayUSA didn’t give the state a chance to legalize this year, last July at a conference for legal gaming states’ legislators in Denver, Colorado Director of the Office of State Planning and Budget Mark Ferrandino said there had been discussions between industry stakeholders and lawmakers about legalizing Colorado online casinos. Like it was with sports betting, any effort to legalize online casinos in the state would require a referendum.

Follow our online casino bill tracker for Colorado and any other state news about online casino legislation.

Key takeaways

  • Colorado’s February sports gambling handle increase was driven by pro basketball. The state is home to the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets.
  • Despite a down year from the Denver Broncos, NFL wagering in January fueled a strong start to the year in Colorado.
  • With March Madness in full swing, Colorado’s March sports gambling should easily top February.

Basketball betting leads Colorado sports betting to annual growth

The main driver behind Colorado sports betting’s big year-on-year handle (total amount bet) jump was pro basketball betting, which includes the NBA. Bets eclipsed $229.8 million in February, nearly $75 million more than the same month in 2023.

Here’s a snapshot of how February’s betting handle performed sport by sport:

Sport/Bet TypeHandleRevenue Share
Ice hockey$33,034,8996.2%
Pro football$29,421,8225.5%
NCAA basketball$25,206,8194.7%
Table tennis$12,598,7212.3%
Parlays/combo bets$105,282,51019.6%

Parlay and combination bets also surged year on year, rising more than $31 million yearly. Table tennis handle nearly doubled, too.

Despite multiple sports posting notable handle increases in February, overall numbers still couldn’t match January’s wagers. The state’s monthly decline was expected, though.

The end of the NFL season typically causes sports betting revenue to fall in February before rising again in March thanks to the men’s and women’s NCAA Tournament.

Black Hawk betting steadies rough month for casino sportsbooks

Colorado’s three casino towns, Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek couldn’t match how statewide online sportsbooks performed in February.

The trio saw their year-on-year retail and online sportsbook revenue drop around $300,000.

All three towns faced month-on-month losses of more than 60%, too:

Casino/CityFebruary 2024 Sports Betting RevenueJanuary 2024 Sports Betting Revenue% Change
Black Hawk$8,678,340.35$28,624,965-69.68%
Central City-$579,526.47$454,123-227.61%
Cripple Creek-$579,526.47$9,470,547-106.12%

Looking ahead to Colorado sports betting in March

As noted, March tends to be a fantastic remedy for February sports betting declines. The onset of March Madness drives billions of dollars in betting nationwide, and Colorado should be no different.

For context, sports betting handle rose nearly $70 million from February 2023 to March 2023. Using that growth as a basis for prediction, we’ll likely see Colorado rebound from around $540 million in February to around $600 million in March.

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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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