Colorado’s regulated sports betting market generated revenue of $946,741.34 in May, the first full month of legal wagering in the Centennial State.
In total, players wagered $25.6m, slightly higher than the early $25.5m figure released by the Colorado Limited Gaming Commission at the start of June, across six mobile sportsbooks. This came despite the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic shutting down the state’s brick-and-mortar casinos throughout the month.
Four of these – DraftKings, FanDuel, Roar Digital’s betMGM and Rush Street’s BetRivers – went live on May 1, the day the market opened. Monarch Casino Resort’s BetMonarch app then launched on 14 May, with The Stars Group, via the Fox Bet brand, following on 19 May.
Players won back $23.1m during the month, and after adjustments, revenue amounted to $946,741.34. From the 10.1% gross revenue tax, the first month’s take came in at $96,537.55.
In terms of what customers actually bet on, the market was significantly limited. Covid-19 had shut down the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Soccer (MLS) and delayed the start of the Major League Baseball (MLB) season, while all major European soccer leagues were also suspended.
As a result table tennis proved the most popular sport by far, with customers staking $6.6m, or 25.7% of amounts wagered in May. Mixed martial arts followed in second, on $1.7m (6.8%), ahead of baseball on 6.6%.
Soccer came in fourth with customers staking $1.5m or 6.0% of the market total, in a month when the German Bundesliga resumed.
The biggest single segment was ‘other’ sports, comprising all those outside of the four leading categories, then golf, tennis, motorsports, football, darts, ice hockey and parlays. That segment accounted for $7.9m, though the Limited Gaming Commission did not break this sum down by sport.
“The Covid-19 pandemic, the closures of Colorado casinos, and cessation of professional sporting events were challenges the Division of Gaming could not anticipate when initially planning for the launch of legalized sports betting in Colorado,” Division of Gaming director Dan Hartman said.
“Despite the unforeseen challenges the Division faced, the revenue results for May represent the culmination of all the hard work and effort the Division put into setting up this newly regulated industry for Coloradans,” he continued. “The total amount wagered in May of $25.6 million is an encouraging predictor of the potential for the Colorado sports betting landscape. It shows a bright future for the Colorado sports betting market.”
In total, 25 online sports betting licenses have been issued, and 19 for retail. With Colorado’s casinos reopening from 17 June after a shutdown that stretches back to 17 March, the state’s first retail sportsbooks went live in two Black Hawk casinos.
“The Division anticipates continued growth of the sports betting market as additional internet operators come online and retail sportsbooks open for business inside casinos in Gilpin and Teller counties,” the state regulator added.