The start of the 2021 NFL season has brought some huge numbers to the US sports betting industry, and that includes the state of Colorado. Colorado sportsbooks posted a total sports betting handle of $408.3 million last month, which is the highest total on record.
It was a rough few months for the Colorado sports betting industry, but a huge jump was expected once football began. Not only did Colorado sportsbooks see a large increase in the total handle, but it also could put the state in the top five among all US markets.
NFL football accounted for $125.8 million in wagers in September, and college football chipped in with nearly $47 million. The Denver Broncos are the most popular team in the state, but college football is also popular as well.
The previous high for total sports betting handle in the month came in January 2021 as the state brought in $326 million to kick-off 2021. The August sports betting handle was just $212 million, which means that the industry grew by nearly 93 percent.
This is a record that could be broken again before the end of 2021, as betting on the NFL will only continue to get more popular as the season moves along.
Baseball Brings in Some Bets
The Colorado Rockies didn’t play any meaningful games during the month of September, but that didn’t keep bettors away from the sport. Baseball was the second-largest sports betting market in September, accounting for $68.7 million of the total handle.
Basketball, largely the NBA preseason, had a total handle of $16.34 for the month of September. The biggest surprise came in the 5th spot on the list as tennis brought in $16.33 million worth of wagers.
Online Betting Still Leading the Charge
Colorado has a large retail sports betting industry, and there are some terrific options available at the three gaming towns. Despite a large number of options for bettors in the state, it is online wagering that continues to lead the way.
The online sports betting handle in September was $402.8 million, which was 98 percent of the total. This has been a trend since the launch of sports betting back in May 2020, and it’s one that won’t be going away anytime soon.
It’s unclear when the next online sportsbook will launch in Colorado, but this is a state that is expected to roll out new options.
Free Bets Decrease Revenue
Sportsbooks in the state offered a number of promotions during the month of September as a way to kick off the 2021 NFL season. Those free bets helped increase the total handle, but it hurt the revenue numbers for the state.
According to the latest sports betting report, more than $20 million in free bets were handed out last month. This caused the revenue to drop significantly as the total was just $1.8 million.
The gross gaming revenue was impressive last month as that total was $22.7 million.