It didn't take long to see how much the residents of Colorado were chomping at the bit for sports betting. When the month of May was all said and done, the state saw $25.6 million worth of bets wagered while collecting just under $1 million in tax revenue.
The volume of betting is quite impressive, considering all four major sports have been closed for live business at the same time since mid-March. Of course, futures bets could be placed at that time.
In place of those sports, newer trends like table tennis, Esports, and international baseball and soccer have reigned supreme. Table tennis was the most popular sport to bet on, with $6.6 million handled, while MMA, baseball, soccer, and golf followed. If May's numbers are any indication, things are going to be just fine in The Centennial State.
Dan Hartman, director of the Division of Gaming, believes the state is off to a very strong start.
"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," Hartman said in a statement.
"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."
Dustin Gouker, an analyst for PlayColorado.com and PlayUSA.com, said, "Launching into a pandemic with not many sports - it's a real impressive start.
"During May, if you remember, there was not a whole lot of sports going on, said Dustin Gouker, an analyst for PlayColorado.com and PlayUSA.com. "But there was $25 million in wagers that took place in May according to data from the state...the launch was one of the best we've seen because it became online only."
However, with some restrictions lifted and casinos reopening, sports betting is now expanding from only operating online. Wildwood Casino in Cripple Creek said that it'll be the first retail sports betting location that opens in town.
"We're angling more towards a grand opening or a major launch to coincide with the Major League Baseball season starting next week," said General Manager Matt Andrighetti.
"You actually physically go into the casino and place a wager in-person with somebody or at a kiosk ... there's actually a large selection of sports you can wager on. One of the biggest ones right now is soccer."
Just The Beginning
Colorado has been progressive for quite some time, legalizing marijuana and having a very lenient stance on most things. It's good to see the fine people of the state come out and support the newest craze going on in America.
Things will certainly be ratcheted up a notch for the state's sportsbooks over the next few weeks when the Colorado Rockies begin their MLB season, and the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche begin their reboots.