Colorado closed its first fiscal year of sports betting. The state is one of the many that took advantage of the 2018 Supreme Court decision to legalize sports betting nationwide. Voters approved it in 2019, and in May 2020, the state went live.
The results from the first year? The total wagers accounted for $2.3 billion, and the state collected $6.6 million in tax revenue. Colorado gets 10% of the net proceeds from the casinos and sportsbooks. When the house wins, so does the state.
Sports betting got off to a slow start due to the uncertainties of the pandemic and lack of sports, but the state collected over $1 million in three of the last four months.
A significant factor is mobile betting, with over 80% of all betting coming online through a computer or mobile device. Out of the 33 casinos in Colorado, two-thirds have online sports betting licenses, and 16 have in-person betting.
So, where will the money go?
- $130,000 goes towards gambling addiction services. It’s estimated that 10 million Americans have a gambling addiction
- $1.74 million go towards start-up costs.
- 6% towards hold harmless fund. It helps the state to make up lost tax revenue on traditional gambling and horse racing betting
- The majority goes towards water conservation and storage. The exact amount will be determined later in the summer and distributed around September.
While the state got off to a slow start with sports betting, it has gained momentum.
As more and more Americans are getting vaccinated and sports are starting to reopen their venues and returning to normal, we expect that we will see substantially higher numbers next year.