Analysis

Return of US sports continue to boost Colorado’s Wedge Index rating

The return of US sports helped Colorado record a 55.2% rise in betting revenues while return of NFL betting will further emphasise the state’s gaming friendly rating.

Colorado bookmakers recorded a sports handle of $59.2m in July, a rise of 55.2% on the $38.1m recorded in June, and revenues of $5.2m, which represents a 8.8% hold, according to the state’s official figures.

While the figures look promising and after just three months of operation can be celebrated, the lack of NFL action, the most popular sport for US punters to bet, means Colorado is yet to see a major bump in its figures. 

The state is currently number 3 on the Wedge Index with a score of 67, which is calculated according to which types of gaming are available in the state and ease of access to each. The Wedge Index is the official quality score for legal gambling within the United States. 

The state’s high score has been attained due to it being one of the most versatile gaming states in the US in terms of product offerings and platforms, despite online casino not being regulated, through which players can register and bet. 

Although it is a young and competitive market with many operators competing for players, the return of the NFL this month cement Colorado’s position in the index as it is accompanied by new market entrants. The state current has 13 online brand licensed including FanDuel, DraftKings, theScore, BetRivers and BetMGM. 

NFL return will boost figures
According to the revenue numbers, 99% of the overall July handle was taken online as land-based gaming outlets remained shuttered due to the ongoing pandemic. Analysts expect the state’s betting handle to increase by some margin once American football action, which restarted on 10 September, is accounted for.

If we look at the results of states with more established gambling industries like Nevada and New Jersey, we can see that Nevada recorded $65.4m on baseball alone and New Jersey $59.6m in July. Colorado by contrast took just $9.2m on MLB games after the season started on 23 July.

The NBA returned to action at the end of July, but despite its handle growing by more than seven times that of June to reach $3.3m it was still below soccer ($7.6m), table tennis ($5.1m) and golf ($4.8m), although all three sports were available all month long.

With more operators set to launch in Colorado and as the NFL season gets under way there is no doubt the state will become even more competitive in the coming months, with corresponding marketing activities and budgets coming into play.

PointsBet and Penn Interactive’s Bartsool Sports are expected to be launching shortly. Further new entrants will enhance Colorado’s index score.

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Jake Pollard

Jake Pollard is an experienced journalist and editor who has covered the online gaming and betting industry for many years. He has written for the leading media outlets as well as operators and suppliers in the igaming space. His current areas of focus are wide-ranging and include regulatory developments in the US, emerging markets in South America and how European countries are adapting to a decade of igaming regulation.

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