The Colorado Division of Gaming reported sports wagering handle of $417.8 million for the month of April on Friday, lifting its all-time handle to $12.1 billion in concluding its third full year of legal betting.
The Centennial State ranks sixth nationally for post-PASPA handle, just ahead of Indiana while trailing New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. Colorado launched sports wagering during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020, but the state is a notable force in the western region with Nevada and Arizona.
April’s handle represented a 6.5% increase from the same month last year, but it was also 15.5% lower compared to March. Operators had a solid month with an 8.4% hold, nearly 2.7 percentage points higher than April 2022 as gross revenue surged 55.7% to $35.1 million.
The state was eligible to levy taxes on $25.9 million in adjusted gross revenue (AGR), reaping nearly $2.6 million in taxes. The $95.7 million in AGR through the first four months of 2023 is up significantly from last year’s total of $35.1 million for the same span, contributing to an increase of $5.2 million in tax receipts. Colorado has generated over $9.5 million in state tax revenue thus far in 2023.
College basketball battering for the books
Running 2023 YTD Top 10 #SportsBetting handle by state (April in CAPS):
1 NEW YORK $6.6B
2 NEW JERSEY $3.8B
3 NEVADA $3.023B
4 Illinois $3.018B
5 OHIO $3.015B
6 PENNSYLVANIA $2.7B
*7 COLORADO $1.88B <-NEW
*8 VIRGINIA $1.88B
9 MICHIGAN $1.6B
10 INDIANA $1.54B
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) June 2, 2023
UConn’s NCAA Tournament title resulted in a sizable windfall for the betting public between wagering on the Final Four and cashing futures tickets. Operators paid out $1.2 million on top of the $5.6 million handle generated for April, the largest single monthly loss in college basketball and more than double the $495,000 in losses absorbed in 2022.
The good news for operators is those losses were canceled out by notable gains elsewhere. Hockey revenue reached a record $3.5 million on an 11.4% hold, aided by a first-round NHL playoff flameout from the defending Stanley Cup champion Avalanche against the second-year Seattle Kraken.
Golf revenue cracked seven figures for the first time, surpassing $1.2 million as operators posted a win rate of 12% on $10.4 million handle. The house has pummeled the public in golf betting this year, raking in $3.5 million while posting a 13.5% hold on $25.7 million in accepted bets.
Despite the Rockies going 7-20 in the month of April, there was plenty of wagering interest in baseball, as the $88.4 million handle represented a 26.6% increase compared to 2022. Operators collected $5.3 million in revenue as the hold narrowly missed 6%.
Parlays provided the biggest slice of the gross revenue pie at $13.2 million. The 18% hold was the highest of the calendar year and also the first time it surpassed 15% in 2023. April also marked the eighth straight month that parlay revenue reached eight figures.
A look back on three years of wagering
The Colorado Division of Gaming provided the top 10 sports by handle to conclude the state’s third year of wagering, with NBA wagering leading the way at just shy of $3 billion. The NFL was a distant second at $1.9 billion, while bets on Major League Baseball added up to more than $1.2 billion. College basketball ($792.2 million) and tennis ($509.9 million) rounded out the top five.
Still proving its staying power unlike anywhere else in the nation, table tennis ranked ninth on the list. The three-year handle for the niche sport was $255.8 million after another $6.6 million was wagered in April. Had it qualified as a category, parlays would have ranked #2 with $2.1 billion in bets placed.