Basketball, Baseball Drive An August Sports Betting Surge

Clippers Nuggets Basketball
Mark J. Terrill/AP
Denver Nuggets’ Jamal Murray (27) goes up for a shot as Los Angeles Clippers’ Ivica Zubac defends during the first half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Colorado sports bets took off in August as the return of basketball, baseball and hockey gave gamblers something to wager on.

The Colorado Avalanche made it to the end of the month before they were knocked out of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Meanwhile, the Nuggets are still deep in their playoff run and the Rockies are nearly through their 60-game pandemic shortened schedule.

August’s total wagers topped $128 million according to the Colorado Department of Revenue — more than double July's number. Basketball garnered the highest total of $48 million. That was followed by America’s pastime with $22 million. Hockey placed third with $13 million wagered.  

Sports betting was muted when it became legal in Colorado in May. COVID-19 had put most mainstream sports on hold. About $25 million in bets were made on sports during the state’s first month of legal betting, with table tennis garnering the most interest. Now that the big leagues are back, including the September return of the NFL and the Broncos, table tennis continued its slide falling to fourth place.

A majority of sports betting is done online. About $2 million of August’s betting was done in a casino.