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Sports gaming brought in $6 million in taxes last year for Colorado

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Robert Davis | The Center Square contributor

(The Center Square) – Sports betting generated over $6 million in tax revenue in its inaugural year, the Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR) said Tuesday.

In total, more than $2.3 billion in wagers were placed between May 1, 2020, and the end of April 2021, according to DOR data. An overwhelming majority were made online because of local COVID-19 restrictions.

For the month of April, DOR said more than $244 million in wagers were placed, which was down more than $60 million from March. This total represents an 18% month-over-month decrease, DOR said.

Colorado collected just over $1 million in taxes in April while bettors enjoyed a total win rate of 7.19%.

The top five sports Coloradans bet on were basketball ($84 million), baseball ($48 million), ice hockey ($10 million), table tennis ($8.9 million) and soccer ($8.7 million). Basketball took in more wagers than the other four sports combined.

Industry analysts at Play Colorado said the decrease in revenue was nothing to worry about. April doesn’t have the luxury of hosting the NCAA basketball playoffs, and there was no football to speak of outside of futures options for the draft.

Play Colorado performed an analysis of the states with legalized sports betting and found that gaming revenue is down across the board. States like Michigan (-30%) and Iowa (-26.7%) fared worse than Colorado while others like New Jersey (-13%) eked out more revenue.

There is hope that the industry is returning to normal, however. Both of the Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets are in the playoffs, which could fuel gaming revenue if the teams play well.

Meanwhile, stadiums are welcoming fans back for events. Coors Field – home of the Colorado Rockies – is currently open at 50% capacity with plans to increase in June.

The Ball Arena increased its capacity two weeks ago in lieu of the Nuggets’ playoff run, and can hold up to 7,750 fans per game.