Colorado sportsbooks again capitalized on interest in nontraditional sports to produce modest gains in June, but the uptick will likely pale in comparison to an expected July surge powered by the return of major North American sports, according to PlayColorado.
“Considering Colorado’s online sportsbooks launched in the middle of a pandemic that had all but shut down major sports, the first two months of sports betting have surpassed expectations,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayColorado.com. “That quick start should have Colorado’s online sportsbooks well-prepared for a much higher level of engagement, which is already happening.”
In Colorado’s second full month of legal online sports betting, online sportsbooks generated $38.1 million in wagers, up 49% from $25.6 million in bets in May, according to official reporting released Tuesday. That resulted in $34.7 million in payouts, a 50% uptick from $23.1 million in May.
In all, June produced operator revenue of $2.2 million, up from $946,741 in May. That yielded $217,023 in state taxes.
With Major League Baseball in play, the NBA close to its Orlando restart, the NHL set to drop the puck in early August, and the NFL season looming, the sports-betting environment should change drastically in the coming weeks.
Futures bets, particularly on baseball and the NBA, have been brisk in July, according to PlayColorado sources. And in Colorado, local betting interest — on the Rockies, Nuggets, and Avalanche — should only help drive championship wagering in the days ahead.
“Colorado is home to two legitimate championship contenders in the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche, and that will almost certainly draw significant action,” Gouker said. “In this environment, things can change quickly. But pent-up demand, the start of the Colorado Rockies season, and the restart of basketball should push July to something more closely resembling a normal month.”
Since online sportsbooks launched May 1, Colorado’s sports bettors have been getting by on less conventional sports. Table tennis again drew the most wagers with $9.1 million in June, accounting for one-quarter of the state’s handle for the month and resulting in $8.6 million payouts. In May, table tennis drew $6.6 million in bets.
In addition, bettors had been limited to online sportsbooks. While the majority of all bets will continue to be made online, the slow opening of retail sportsbooks across the state will offer new areas of engagement.
“Sportsbooks have been creative in engaging bettors, and that will help when major U.S. sports restart,” Gouker said. “Retail sports betting sites will help, too. July and August should be exciting months for the industry.”
For more information and analysis on regulated sports betting in Colorado, visit PlayColorado.com/news.