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Colorado Sports Betting Provides Over $4M In Tax Revenue For The First Time

Written By J.R. Duren on March 8, 2024
NFL Field Logo With Snow

After smashing its record for most handle in December, Colorado sports betting failed to repeat the performance in January.

Like many sports betting markets across the country, Colorado’s more than two dozen online and retail sportsbooks saw handle (total amount gambled) drop to kick off the year. The Centennial State’s sports wagers finished at $596.7 million in January, a 16.7% decrease over December but a 9.1% gain compared to January 2023.

On a positive note, according to the Colorado Division of Gaming’s press release for January 2024 figures, the state collected more than $4 million in tax revenue for the first time since sports betting launched in May 2020.

NFL playoffs lead to a drop in handle

One of the main reasons that sportsbooks across the country saw less action in January is the NFL playoffs. With fewer games being played each week, there were fewer opportunities to bet.  For example, the final week of the NFL season featured 16 games. During the first week of the NFL playoffs, there were only six games.

As a result, when looking at Colorado’s December 2023 sports betting figures, pro football betting plummeted from $193.1 million to $86.1 million in January. Handle was down 62.5% month on month, which coincided with a roughly 60% drop in the number of NFL games played month on month (75 in December vs. 28 in January).

The massive drop in NFL handle kept the state’s sportsbooks from getting close to another $700 million month.

Sport/Bet TypeHandleRevenue Share
Parlays/combo bets$269,134,48745.10%
Pro football$86,136,74214.40%
NCAA basketball$24,587,9304.10%
Ice hockey$11,884,4692%
NCAA football$4,805,5390.81%
Table tennis$4,165,2310.70%

Though January’s monthly numbers were disappointing (but understandable), the yearly numbers looked good. Handle was up nearly $50 million, and January’s tax revenue of $4.1 million was a 12.1% month-on-month jump and a 59.6% increase compared to the previous year.

Furthermore, January’s handle total was the third-highest in the past seven months and more than August and July combined:

Colorado casinos see solid revenue growth in January

January’s sports wagering data was kind to Colorado’s casinos. Properties in Black Hawk saw revenue increase by nearly 60%, while Central City’s total revenue lept from the negatives in December to more than $450,000 in January.

Casino/CityJanuary 2024 Sports Betting RevenueDecember 2023 Sports Betting Revenue% Change
Black Hawk$28,624,965$18,178,25957.5%
Central City$454,123-$308,576247.2%
Cripple Creek$9,470,547$7,198,35031.6%
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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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