Colorado Sportsbooks See Reduced Handle And Revenue in February

Colorado Sportsbooks See Reduced Handle And Revenue in February
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Colorado sportsbooks saw declines in handle and revenue in February 2023 from the previous month. But tax collections soared from the same period in 2022 because of a change in how much gambling operators could exclude in calculating taxable revenue.

Regarding handle in February, Colorado sports betting operators took a little more than $425 million in wagers. That was a decrease of 22.3% from January 2023 ($547.2 million) and a drop of 3.49% from the handle in February 2022 ($440.5 million), according to the figures from the Colorado Division of Gaming.

February’s Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) was nearly $22.6 million, down 36.3% from $35.48 million in the January Colorado betting revenue report. But that figure in the second month of the year happened to be an increase of 15.3% from February 2022 ($19.6 million).

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Colorado Sports Betting, February vs. January

Total Handle Mobile Handle Revenue
February$425.143M$421.601M$22.600M
January$547.189M$542.248M$35.483M
Change Down 22.3% Down 22.2% Down 36.3%

Change in Tax Calculations

However, a change in how casino revenues are taxed, which went into effect in January 2023, had a substantial impact on tax collections. Previously, Colorado allowed sportsbooks to deduct unlimited amounts of certain bonuses and promotions to calculate taxable revenue. The change, passed last year, limits deductions to 2.5% of monthly handle.

As a result, for February 2023, taxes from sports betting wagers totaled about $1.257 million, an increase of almost 300% compared to February 2022 ($314,741).

The comparison with the previous month wasn’t nearly as good. The February 2023 tax collections generally tracked the overall decrease in revenue from January, so February’s tax collections were a 51.39% decrease over January 2023.

In Colorado, taxes from sports gambling go toward addressing the state’s water issues.

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Pro Basketball Draws Most Volume

Regarding bettors’ wagering preferences, pro basketball was the favorite in February attracting about $155.64 million in total wagers.  The rest of the top sports in total wagers were: NCAA basketball, $68.1 million; pro football, $27.57 million; tennis, $25,398,226.13, and ice hockey, $19.64 million.

Bettors in the state also very much preferred making wagers their online, as always. Of the more than $425 million in sports bets in February, $421.6 million, or 99.2%, were made at online Colorado sportsbook apps. The state has routinely taken about 99% of its sports wagering action from customers using mobile, laptop or desktop options.

The mobile sportsbooks handle fell 22.2% in February from $542.25 million in January, and 3.1% from February 2022 ($434.9 million).

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Author

Bill Ordine, senior journalist and columnist for BetColorado.com, was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others.

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