Sports Betting Industry Continues to Surge

Rick Langenberg

The Denver Broncos have tanked this year, and overall interest in National Football League games has slipped, based on accounts at local sports bars and eateries.

Thank you Russell Wilson and Nathan Hackett for the bust of a year.

But when it comes to betting action on professional games, interest is still quite strong across the state, according to wagers placed at local casinos and their related sports betting apps. Hopefully, none of these bettors are wasting their money on the Broncs, although Denver could be a surprise longshot hit in the final weeks of the season, or a spoiler

October sports betting figures, released  late last week, by the Colorado Division of Gaming, show another month of increasing wagers placed by Coloradans resulting in the second-highest month of total wagers since legalization in May 2020.

January 2021 had the largest number of total wagers, with $573,720,213 in bets placed that month.

The total handle for October 2022 was $526,619,777, a 17% increase from the total handle of the prior month, September, of $450,232,597. A year-to-year comparison shows a 7.2% increase from the total handle in October 2021, $491,453,342.

Taxes collected by the state in October 2022 were 87% higher than taxes collected last year same period, October 2021.  In October 2022, taxes from sports betting wagers totaled $2,330,705, representing a 22.03% decrease over the prior month, September 2022, of $2,989,342.

In October, professional football placed again in the top spot for the month with $171,637,593 in total wagers, followed by basketball with $85,668,557 in bets. Wagers on NCAA Football placed third with $550,403,728. The fourth spot went to baseball with $42,098,515, and tennis finished in the fifth slot with $24,473,761 in total wagers.

These numbers further show that sports betting has become a huge, mega industry, with wagers now exceeding $4 billion-plus a year. This activity has even prompted plans for a re-assessment of casinos properties, according to Teller County Assessor Colt Simmons.

On the downside, none of the money generated from sports betting goes to the impacted gaming towns or counties. When sports betting was approved by Colorado voters, it was designated to occur at established gaming establishments in Cripple Creek, Black Hawk and Central City at designated brick and mortar sites or through related apps, where most of the sports betting now takes place. Casinos, for the most part, have contracted out this activity through with sports books.

However, the distribution of this money, is one issue that local leaders plan to lobby to change so they can receive a portion of the revenue. The big winner tax-wise is  money for a state water plan.

View the October 2022 Sports Betting Monthly Proceeds report on the Division of Gaming’s website at