(The Center Square) - Water projects in Colorado are getting a $7.9 million boost from tax revenue collected during the first fiscal year of legalized sports betting in the state.
The Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (CLGCC) gave its approval for $8.56 million in tax revenue to be distributed to beneficiaries, which includes the Colorado Water Plan, the Department of Revenue's Division of Gaming said in a news release Thursday.
The distribution of funds to beneficiaries was detailed in the 2019 law that asked voters to legalize sports betting for taxation and use most of the funds for the state's water projects. Voters also approved Proposition DD in November 2020. Sports betting went into effect on May 1, 2020.
Since then, sports bettors in the state have wagered over $3 billion, according to state data.
Other beneficiaries of the tax revenue include the Hold Harmless Fund ($488,782), which is for entities that might see lessened revenue as a result of sports betting, the Office of Behavioral Health ($130,000), a state gambling hotline ($30,000), and problem gambling services ($100,000), according to the division.
"We are constantly amazed and impressed with the continued growth we see in our state and how Coloradans have embraced this new form of legalized entertainment," Division of Gaming Director Dan Hartman said. "The enabling legislation, the vote of the people, the industry relationships with operators, and the enthusiasm of bettors have all contributed to our success in creating a healthy, competitive Colorado market. We are happy how these results translate into wins for the citizens of Colorado."
Colorado's sports betting market has grown to 25 online operators and 17 retail locations licensed by the state.
Earlier this month, state officials announced that Tipico, an online sports betting company from Europe, plans to open a tech hub in the state, creating over 400 jobs.