Colorado became the seventh state in the post-PASPA era to surpass $10 billion in all-time sports wagering handle Tuesday after the Department of Revenue reported more than $518 million worth of accepted bets for the month of December.
The Centennial State joins New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New York, and Indiana in that select circle, reaching the benchmark in 32 months of wagering. More than half of Colorado’s $10.2 billion handle — $5.18 billion — was generated in 2022, and 98% of it is was generated via mobile wagering.
“Reaching the $10 billion mark in total handle, to us as regulators, shows how Coloradans have embraced this new, regulated form of entertainment and is exceeding our original estimates about where the industry would be two and half years after legalization,” said Dan Hartman, director of the Division of Gaming, in a statement e-mailed to Sports Handle. “The real benefit from a robust market established in Colorado is the investment of the tax dollars to fund water projects keeping Colorado a viable and fruitful place to live and work.”
Handle was up 34.7% compared to 2021, and December’s figure was the fourth highest overall. It was the third straight month wagers totaled more than $500 million and fifth time in state history, all coming in 2022. The $518 million was 6.2% lower than November’s $552.6 million handle, but 12.3% better than the $461.4 million generated in December 2021.
Operators posted a 7.9% win rate and reported $40.9 million in gross revenue for December, their second-best total in state history behind the $51.3 million from September during a historic rout nationwide. Gross revenue for the year was up 65.4% to nearly $352 million, as the 6.8% hold for 2022 was nearly a third of a percentage point higher than the previous year.
Colorado levied taxes on $25.8 million in adjusted revenue for December, resulting in an inflow of $2.6 million to state coffers. The state received $19.7 million in tax receipts in 2022, $8 million more than 2021, as the $188.9 million in overall adjusted revenue for the year was 82.7% higher. Promotions and other deductions counted against 46.3% of the gross revenue compared to 58.7% in 2021, though a law that took effect at the start of this year should result in more tax revenue for the state going forward.
Bettors continue to fight parlay odds
Running Top 10 #SportsBetting handles 2022 YTD (Dec in CAPS):
1 NEW YORK $16.28B
2 NEW JERSEY $10.94B
3 Illinois $8.72B
4 NEVADA ~$8.7B
5 PENNSYLVANIA $7.25B
6 COLORADO $5.18B <-NEW
7 Arizona $4.85B (Oct)
8 MICHIGAN $4.81B
9 INDIANA $4.47B
10 Virginia $4.4B#GamblingTwitter
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) January 31, 2023
Parlays paced revenue generated by Colorado sportsbooks in 2022 at nearly $139.1 million, but the 15.2% hold from the $915.8 million handle on such wagers was the lowest among the six states that furnish both handle and revenue numbers in the category.
The other five ranged from 18.8% in Illinois to 28.3% in Nevada, but the Silver State can be considered an outlier, as it only accepted $36 million in such bets in 2022. Parlay handle in Colorado was up 35.2% compared to 2021, with revenue surging 43.9% in the same period, since the 2021 win rate was 14.3%.
Pro football revenue was the only other sport to give sportsbooks an eight-figure revenue haul in December at more than $11.8 million, thanks to an 8.6% hold from $137 million in wagers. Though sportsbooks may not have gotten the bounce in handle from Russell Wilson coming to Broncos Country — the $589.6 million bet on pro football from September through December was only 2.8% higher than 2021 — they certainly rode out with more revenue, as the $44.4 million claimed in those four months thanks to a 7.5% win rate was 36.2% higher year-over-year.
Pro basketball rounded out the podium spots for revenue at $4.6 million and was tops for handle at $147.9 million. Pro hoops handle totaled $1.3 billion in 2022, though operators kept only $43 million on a 3.4% hold.
A soccer bump, while table tennis holds steady
December #SportsBetting numbers 🧵for #Colorado via DoR. 2022 Han/GGR/WR by sport category (1/x)*
*only those with all 12 months known
🏀 (pro) $1.27B/$42.99M/3.38%
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) January 31, 2023
Soccer wagering remained robust in December during the knockout rounds of the World Cup, as handle nearly reached $25.5 million. But it appears many jumped on the Lionel Messi and Argentina bandwagon, as operator revenue plummeted under $1 million after a record $3.3 million was claimed in November. Soccer handle for the final two months boosted by the out-of-season World Cup in Qatar totaled $53.2 million.
Table tennis easily remained in the top 10 sports for handle, closing the year with $5.1 million worth of wagers to lift the 2022 amount to $58 million. Operators landed directly on the 7% industry standard hold for December, lowering their overall mark for the year to 7.2%, as they claimed $4.2 million in revenue.