COLORADO SPRINGS — Even if your 10-leg parlay with minimal chances of succeeding are losing you money in Colorado’s sportsbooks, the state itself is seeing increasing revenues for the burgeoning industry.
December 2023 set a new all-time record for Colorado sports betting for both handle and taxes generated since the launch of legal wagering in May 2020.
The $716.4 million wagered by Coloradans in December was a month-to-month increase of 17.74% from November and over 38% increase from December 2022.
And with Super Bowl Sunday this weekend, Colorado gaming officials expect these record-breaking numbers to continue.
“The Super Bowl is consistently the busiest betting day of the year. Just for example, in 2023, we had almost $38 million spent on the Super Bowl, and $24 million dollars bet just on Super Bowl Sunday for the game,” said Christopher Schroder, director of the Colorado Division of Gaming. “And so I think we're going to continue to see that level of interest.”
According to data from the Division of Gaming, a vast majority of Colorado sports betting comes through the online marketplace, with very few wagers being placed in person at sites like Blackhawk, Cripple Creek, and Central City.
December’s record-breaking gaming numbers generated almost $3.7 million in tax revenues. Fiscal year 2022 brought in about $25 million in taxes and with $15 million so far this fiscal year, Schroder said he expects more records to be broken. The upcoming March Madness college basketball tournament, for example, is always a top betting month.
“People would often fly out to Las Vegas or to New Jersey–Atlantic City–and gamble, or even neighboring states,” said Schroder. He said Colorado’s legalized market now prevents this money from leaving the state.
Colorado law requires 12 percent of that revenue to be distributed to gaming counties, and ten percent to the gaming cities like cripple creek. Another 28 percent will go to the state historical fund for preservation of historical sites in those cities.
38 states and Washington, D.C. offer legal sports betting. According to the American Gaming Association (AGA), nearly 68 million American adults are expected to wager on Super Bowl LVIII, a 35% increase from 2023.
11% of all American adults (28.7 million people) intend to place legal online wagers on the Big Game, said the AGA in a press release.
“As the Super Bowl comes to Las Vegas for the first time, this year’s record interest in wagering marks a full circle moment for the U.S. gaming industry,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. “Our priority remains getting this opportunity right by providing the consumer protections only a regulated market can guarantee and investing in responsible gambling tools, safeguards and education.”
For those with a gambling problem who are seeking help, Colorado offers a variety of confidential resources that can be found here.
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