29 Dec

Are CO Sports Bettors Getting Smarter?

Handle Up, Revenue Down: Colorado sports betting strategies look to be improving with time and market maturity.

Handle Up, Revenue Down Colorado Sports Betting Strategies ImprovingThe U.S. state of Colorado has been dishing up legal sports betting opportunities via land-based casinos and online sportsbooks since May of 2020. After just half a year, it’s hard to estimate any real maturity in the market. What we are seeing, however, is a maturity in betting trends, with Colorado’s sports bettors making smarter decisions overall.

According to statistical data reports from the Colorado Department of Revenue (CDoR), handle is rising with each passing month. Gross gaming revenue (GGR), on the other hand – the amount sportsbooks get to keep after paying back all winning player bets – has been on the decline; percentage wise, at least.

CO Sports Betting Strategies Progressively Effective

Some say gambling is pure luck. In many ways, that’s true, but when it comes to sports betting, strategy plays an indelible role. The bettor who makes picks based on their personal favorites – favorite team, favorite color uniform, favorite mascot animal – is relying on luck. The bettor who know team stats, player rosters, past performance history, and a throng of other important data, and uses that data to place smart wagers, is utilizing the best strategy.

With that in mind, Coloradans are either becoming progressively knowledgeable about sports teams and wagering tactics, or they’re getting really lucky as time goes on.

We pulled up data sheets from the CDoR for the first five months of legal online sports betting activities, then complied them into a neat little table for your viewing pleasure. As you can see, the results are impressive. From the first month of operation, beginning May 1 to September 31, 2020, the average return to player (RTP) rose from just 89% – matching the typical payout of a Las Vegas slot machine – to nearly 98% – nearing the efficiency of a pro blackjack player.

Total Handle, Revenue, and Payouts (May – September 2020)

One could surmise from this data that the more Coloradans wager on sports, the better they get at it. In the first month, only $25.6 million was wagered overall, with bookmakers keeping 10% of it. Month after month, the wagers increased, scaling up to $38m in June, almost $60m in July, then more than doubling to $128.6m in August. Likewise, the revenue hauled in by land-based and online sportsbook operators increased, but the percentage they won took a nosedive, nearly halving to 5.85% in August.

Live vs Mobile Sports Betting September 2020

September was the biggest month of 2020 for Colorado sports betting enthusiasts; no surprise as it marked the peak of baseball season, filled with playoffs leading up to the World Series, as well as the start of the 2020/21 NFL season. More than $207 million was placed in bets that month alone. The majority of those bets – and the vast percentage of winning players – came from Colorado’s mobile sportsbooks.

In a press release announcing the revenue results for September 2020, the CdoR wrote:

Mobile betting continues to account for a majority of the total betting handle, with 98% of wagers made online and 2% of wagers placed in a retail location.”

In an additional report that breaks down retail versus online revenue proceeds, it turns out retail bettors weren’t nearly so smart with their picks as CO’s mobile betting enthusiasts. The approximate $4.15m (2%) in retail bets paid back an RTP of just 89.31% to bettors. The remaining $203.5m (98%) in online and mobile bets were paid back at a fantastic 98.85%. WTG CO!

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