Sports Betting Generates $12.4 Million in Tax Revenue in Second Year of Operation

Colorado Water Plan Emerges as Big Winner


The Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (CLGCC) announced last week that it approved distributions from tax revenues of $12.45 million collected in the second fiscal year of legalized sports betting to designated beneficiaries, including the Colorado Water Plan.


Sports betting is permitted in designated locations and online apps in Cripple Creek and the two other Colorado gaming communities. The industry has grown substantially, although the gaming towns themselves aren’t receiving any of the revenue.  This is an issue that is being reviewed legislatively, as gaming town leaders are seeking a portion of the revenue pie  since they bear the impacts.


According to a division press release, a total of $12,236 million was approved for distribution to the intended beneficiaries, with the Water Implementation Cash Fund receiving a majority of the available funding with a total of $11,36 million, a 43% increase over the distribution from the fiscal year 2020-21 of $7,95 million.


Additional distributions from the tax revenues from sports betting included a required 6% disbursement to the Hold Harmless Fund, totaling $746,726.88. The Office of Behavioral Health also received the annual distribution of $130,000, of which $30,000 is designated to support the operations of a problem gambling hotline, and $100,000 is appropriated for problem gambling services.


The tax revenues collected by the state are based on reported Net Sports Betting Proceeds figures. The sports betting tax structure was authorized in the enabling legislation, HB 19-1327, and established the Net Sports Betting Proceeds calculation as the total amount of all wagers placed, excluding free bets, less all payments to players and all federal excise taxes.


Since legalization began on May 1, 2020, more than $7.88 billion has been wagered within Colorado borders by sports bettors. The Colorado sports betting market has grown from four original online operators who opened on that initial day to now 24 internet operators and 15 retail locations.