US Sports Betting Heads For First $3 Billion Handle Month As Colorado Hits High

Posted on November 30, 2020

Thanks to relatively recent state launches in Colorado and Illinois, the US sports betting market likely will hit another high.

Legal US sports betting handle appears to have eclipsed the $3 billion mark for the first time in October.

Sports betting in Colorado accounted for $210.7 million in handle last month, according to the state report released Monday. That brings total reported October handle to $2.82 billion.

September‘s handle total was $2.87 billion.

That means Illinois sports betting would have needed $182.3 million in handle to hit $3 billion. That should be easy for the growing market in the Land of Lincoln, which took $305 million in bets in September.

Illinois lags most states in reporting revenue, meaning October results will not arrive until next month.

US handle for October so far

Along with multiple states that are ramping up their operations, the likely October handle record was helped by 13 handle records in the 15 reporting jurisdictions.

StateHandleRevenueHoldTaxes/State Revenue
Total$2,817,695,647$238,493,4758.5%$36,479,488
Arkansas$6,559,859$940,51414.3%$122,267
Colorado$210,719,821$17,402,4098.3%$824,700
Delaware$17,086,034$3,483,04520.4%$2,534,638
Illinois$ -$ ---$ -
Indiana$230,932,251$21,098,4609.1%$2,004,354
Iowa$81,902,416$9,098,99511.1%$612,967
Michigan$46,120,824$7,596,97216.5%$638,146
Mississippi$61,192,425$8,769,60014.3%$1,052,352
Montana$ -$ ---$ -
Nevada$659,899,331$42,388,0006.4%$2,861,190
New Hampshire$47,055,486$4,203,8758.9%$2,001,597
New Jersey$803,096,172$58,508,6477.3%$7,440,873
New Mexico$ -$ ---$ -
New York$ -$2,623,464--$262,346
Oregon$29,455,228$2,751,1479.3%$ -
Pennsylvania$525,802,524$47,834,6479.1%$13,239,694
Rhode Island$34,704,413$4,388,84112.6%$2,238,309
Washington DC$18,535,847$3,662,08019.8%$271,777
West Virignia$44,633,016$3,742,7798.4%$374,278

New Jersey set the overall US handle record at $803 million in October. Nevada, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Colorado make up the remaining top five jurisdictions by handle so far.

Colorado, which only saw handle rise 1.5% from September, will likely get bumped once Illinois reports its results at some point by mid-December.

Colorado sports betting includes heavy promos

Along with record handle for the quickly growing Colorado market, the market hit record sports betting revenue as well. Colorado sportsbooks reported $17.4 million in revenue last month, good for 8.3% hold.

Colorado has a 10% sports betting tax, but revenue didn’t translate to $1.74 million in taxes. Instead, the state wound up with $824,700.

That’s because along with the 0.25% federal excise tax, operators are allowed to deduct free bets and promotions from their revenue.

Colorado’s net revenue was $9.6 million, suggesting operators paid $7.2 million in promos and free bets, or 41.6% of total revenue. That’s up from $7 million in promos for September.

Football captures top spot

Football is finally the market leader in terms of handle, knocking baseball out of the top spot last month.

NFL betting accounted for $68 million in bets, up from $38.6 million in September. Baseball betting, meanwhile, fell to $23 million last month from $47.1 million.

Baseball was still the second-most bet individual sport, though the parlays category ranked higher at $37.2 million.

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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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