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Colorado sportsbook handle hits $25.5m in first month


Colorado’s Department of Revenue has revealed that total handle for the state’s first month of legal wagering reached $25.5m.

The unaudited figure for May has been revealed ahead of a more comprehensive breakdown of revenue for the month, expected to be released in mid-June. 

All stakes were placed via mobile, with the state’s brick-and-mortar casinos closed since March 17 as a result of novel coronavirus (Covid-19). Four operators launched on May 1, the first day from which bets could be taken, with six licensees currently active. 

The four that launched on May 1 – DraftKings, FanDuel, Roar Digital’s betMGM and Rush Street’s BetRivers – have since been joined by Monarch Casino Resort’s BetMonarch app, from 14 May. The Stars Group, via the Fox Bet brand, followed five days later.

DraftKings is operating under the Twin River-owned Golden Mardi Gras Casino’s master license. FanDuel, meanwhile, has partnered Golden Gates Casino, another Twin River property.

Roar Digital, the joint venture between MGM Resorts and GVC Holdings, operates in partnership with Tripe Crown Casinos’ Midnight Rose property. Rush Street is active via Triple Crown’s J.P. McGill’s Hotel and Casino. Stars has entered via its market access agreement with Eldorado Resorts.

The first month handle comes despite a lack of major sporting events, with all major US leagues suspended as a result of Covid-19, and the National Football League in its off-season, and with no retail wagering.

When it launched, Rush Street highlighted markets such as Korean baseball, Taiwanese basketball, Russian ice hockey and English darts and esports as a result. 

Dan Hartman, director of the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Division of Gaming, told iGB North America that these conditions had forced changes in its projections for the market.

“The Covid-19 epidemic forced us to adjust our thought process on anticipating revenues given the closing of casinos combined with the cessation of professional, organised sporting events,” Hartman explained.

“The total amount wagered in May of $25.5m, along with results of wagers placed on individual sporting events, is an encouraging predictor of the potential for the Colorado sports betting landscape,” he added. “They show a bright future for the Colorado sports betting market.”