Colorado Sports Betting Handle Jumps in August, Despite Tepid Interest in Football

The Centennial State’s handle stayed below $300 million, but it did increase — along with the hold and revenue — compared to the previous month.

Last Updated: Oct 6, 2022 11:29 AM ET Read Time: 3 min
Russell Wilson Denver Broncos NFL
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

August gave Colorado sports betting the return of (preseason) football, but Coloradans didn't really seem to care.

Colorado's Department of Revenue announced that operators accepted $290.1 million in wagers for the month of August — up 12.3% from July’s $258.4 million mark but still down from June's $313.2 million in tickets.

Colorado's legal sports betting did see a strong 36.9% year-over-year increase from August 2021.

The 8.9% hold for sportsbooks, combined with the increase in bets gave the state a hefty boost in tax revenue — the $1.8 million in sports betting revenue tax was a 66.8% increase over the previous month, with the year-over-year even better as August's tax jumped 150%.

Colorado funnels sports betting tax dollars into the state’s Water Implementation Cash Fund.

Football well behind baseball

While July left Coloradans to bet on the last-place Rockies, as the NFL, NHL, and NBA started prepping for the regular season, August brought in the beginning of the Russell Wilson era for the Denver Broncos.

However, even with the ability to bet on preseason football, baseball remained the top sport. More than 40% of all tickets were on America's pastime, with tennis remaining in the second spot with 10% of wagers.

Football came in third with 7.4%, barely beating out non-NBA basketball, which garnered 7% of August’s bets.

College football, which only had Week 0 and featured no teams from the Centennial State, came in at 1.5%.

Unlucky retail bettors

August's 8.9% hold is the highest this year — and it was an even less successful venture for in-person bettors.

Brick-and-mortar sportsbooks enjoyed a 25.1% hold, compared to 8.7% for online sportsbooks. Football fans took the brunt of the losses with sportsbooks paying out just 41% of their pro football handle and 20% of their college football handle.

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