DENVER (KDVR) — The start of 2022 kicked off with the largest single month for wagers in Colorado sports betting history, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue which regulates the industry.
The Colorado Division of Gaming announced $573,720,213 in sports bets were placed during the month of January, representing a more than 24% increase from December 2021.
“We opened in May of 2020,” said Director of Colorado’s Division of Gaming Dan Hartman in an interview on FOX31 NOW. “We opened in the pandemic when there was no sports. Really it has increased and the acceptance of sports over the 21 months has become phenomenal.”
Compared to January 2021, this January saw an increase in betting money by 75%.
Colorado collected more than $1.4 million in taxes for the wagers placed in January 2022, according to the Division of Gaming.
While the Division of Gaming doesn’t necessarily track users, Hartman said the popularity is clearly growing.
“I think there are a lot more people enjoying this entertainment and getting into it,” Hartman said.
Despite the final weeks of the National Football League and the beginning of the playoffs, football did not see the most money for bets in Colorado during January.
Basketball took the top spot with $163.5 million in bets, with American Pro Football coming in with $144 million. College basketball, ice hockey and tennis ranked third, fourth and fifth respectively for the largest betting totals in the record-breaking month.
Statewide, an overwhelming amount of bets were placed online in January, with a whopping 96%. The rest placed bets on-site in casinos in Black Hawk and Cripple Creek.
The original legislation dedicates money towards messaging for responsible gaming, but Hartman said that messaging will become more of a focus as the industry grows.
“There is a lot more attention being focused on it,” Hartman said. “The conversation about what else can we do to make sure when folks feel like they have an issue, feel like they’ve overdone it, they have a place to go and we have a safety net in the state that they get the help and the resources that they need.”
Learn more about where all the tax revenue from sports gambling goes in Colorado.