Colorado’s First Month of Sports Betting Shows Potential for Bright Future

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AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Jul 14, 2020, 04:00 PM EDT

Despite launching amid a worldwide pandemic, Colorado has released numbers for its first month of legalized sports betting that project the potential for a lucrative future.

Over $25.6 million in bets were placed in the Centennial State in the month of May, with over $96,000 due in taxes. Much of that can be attributed to table tennis, which led the way as the most-heavily bet sport by a significant margin.

Table tennis, which garnered nearly $6.6 million in bets, had more money placed on it than the next four most-heavily bet sports — MMA, baseball, soccer, and golf — combined.

With Colorado’s casinos closed during the month, all of the bets took place online.

Although it wasn’t what many expected when voters approved sports betting last November, the state’s success during the coronavirus pandemic has shown that Colorado has a bright future in the sports betting market as live sports begin to return.

“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,” said Dan Hartman, the Director of the Division of Gaming.

“Despite the unforeseen challenges the Division faced, the revenue results for May represent the culmination of all the hard work and effort the Division put into setting up this newly regulated industry for Coloradans. 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.”

A total of 25 internet operator licenses and 19 sportsbook operator licenses have been approved in Colorado thus far. Casinos have also begun the reopening process, allowing for in-person wagering,

DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, BetRivers, and FOX Bet are among the approved operators currently in Colorado, and the state’s Division of Gaming said it anticipates the sports betting market will continue to grow as more operators enter the online and retail realms in Gilpin and Teller counties.

As the NBA, NHL, and MLB prepare to return — in addition to the sports that have already come back — Colorado’s numbers will likely increase. And if things go well for the state when that happens, table tennis won’t be leading the charge.

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