The Colorado Division of Gaming reported sports betting handle $512.8 million for September on Thursday, marking the seventh time the Centennial State has surpassed half-a-billion dollars worth of accepted wagers.
Handle was up 13.9% compared to September 2022 and 67.5% versus August, as the return of the NFL and renewed interest in Deion Sanders’ Colorado Buffaloes football program provided a notable pop. It was the second time handle surpassed $500 million this year, behind the $547.2 million generated in January.
September’s betting was also enough to swing the year-to-date total back to a positive increase, with the $3.68 billion handle through the first nine months of 2023 up 2.7% versus 2022.
Sportsbooks statewide had a collective hold of 8.8% as they claimed $45.3 million. That was the third-highest total in 41 months of legal wagering, trailing only the $51.3 million in September 2022 and $45.9 million in March. The state was able to levy taxes on close to $32.5 million of that total, resulting in an inflow of 3.1 million into its coffers.
The state has received $18.9 million in taxes from sports wagering through the first three quarters of the year, over $6.7 million more compared to the same period in 2022.
Big month for parlay wagering
*June-Sep. 2023**thru Aug. 2023
Colorado is among a handful of states that publishes handle and revenue by sport category, and when excluding the anomalies Nevada creates as a high-handle state with low-handle parlay wagering, bettors in the Centennial State fare the best among the group of states with known figures.
Even having its best month of 2023 with a 19% hold, the house again fell short of 20% for the 12th consecutive month. In contrast, that has happened each of the last six months in New Jersey; three times this year in Illinois; and twice in the first four months Maryland has provided such breakouts beginning in June. The $18.9 million in parlay revenue and $99.4 million handle represented all-time monthly highs in Colorado.
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Pro football handle totaled more than $157.4 million, an 8.1% year-over-year increase despite the Denver Broncos embarking on a rebuilding year with first-year coach Sean Payton. Sanders’ rock star status in Boulder helped college football handle reach an all-time monthly high of $69.5 million — up 32% from September 2022 and marking the first time it surpassed $60 million.
There was also a notable milestone reached, as all-time handle for table tennis topped $300 million. September also marked the first time operators reached seven figures in revenue for the niche sport, fashioning an 8.2% hold on $12.5 million worth of wagers to clear $1 million by $22,869.
Year-over-year revenue showing solid growth
While handle is only incrementally higher, gross revenue through the first nine months of the year is up 16.4% versus 2022 to $275.9 million. The 7.5% hold is nearly nine-tenths of a percentage point higher compared to last year.
The change in the limits of promotional deductions has led to a greater increase in adjusted gross revenue eligible for taxation. That total is just shy of $190 million, up 61.5% from the first three quarters of last year. The state has been able to levy taxes on close to 69% of gross revenue this year compared to 50% for the same period in 2022.
Revenue growth, however, has been slowed by bettor performance to an extent. The 7.5% hold is nearly two full percentage points lower than the nationwide hold of 9.4% on the $77.6 billion wagered in states with known revenue figures this year.
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