The Colorado Division of Gaming on Monday reported a slight decline in Colorado sports bets compared to October's record total. The $475.4 million handle in November was down 3.3% from October's $491,4M total, but represented a 105% growth versus November 2020.
The decline was driven by a $30 million drop in bets on NFL football, likely the result of the league playing five weeks of games in October and four weeks of games in November, The Denver Gazette reports.
Professional football and basketball generated over half of the monthly handle, nearly $265 million, with college football and basketball each generating about $29 million in bets during November. In third place was NCAA Football with $29.4 million. The fourth spot went to NCAA Basketball with $29 million, and Ice Hockey rounded out the top five sports with almost $14 million.
"Every market has grown significantly over the last few months, but few have performed better than Colorado since the football season began in September," said Ian St. Clair, lead analyst for PlayColorado.com, which follows regulated gaming in Colorado. "November was a sort of litmus test for how sustainable the growth will be once football season ends because there were fewer games played (in November) than in October."
Sportsbooks generated a record $19.3 million in revenue after paying $438.7 million to winning bettors and despite giving away $17.4 million in free bets. The previous record revenue total of $11.7 million was set in January. The record sportsbook revenue also meant record tax revenue for the state at $1,981,640, eclipsing the record of $1.25 million set in October.
Since legal sports betting launch in May 2020, Colorado bettors have wagered more than $4.5 billion. Colorado sportsbooks pay a 10% tax on what they keep after paying winners and subtracting free bets; those funds are set aside for Colorado water projects.