By Jeff Todd

DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado continues to see record numbers from sports gambling as the emerging industry starts its second football season.

“What’s clear to me is that the market hasn’t plateaued yet and so I keep waiting for the numbers to sort of balance out, but they haven’t yet,” said Rep. Alec Garnett, the Speaker of the House, and legislator who helped lead the bipartisan sports gambling law in 2019.

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While taxes have been generated from the $3 billion wagered since betting went live in May of 2020, Garnett says other benefits have come to the state.

(credit: iStock/Getty Images)

“Over 1,000 jobs because of a couple of companies that have moved here and decided to open up shop here in Colorado. For the most part I think Coloradans should feel good about where this is at,” Garnett said.

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On Monday, the state announced nearly $212 million was wagered in August. Huge increases from the previous month and the same time a year before. Experts say the money wagered should be going up to finish the year.

“The next four months are going to be astronomical, and I think what is going to add to that is the excitement over the Denver Broncos starting three and zero. This is just the beginning of what is going to happen in Colorado but also across the country,” said Ian St. Clair, the Managing Editor at PlayColorado.com, a website that tracks the sports betting industry in the state.

Since it began, Colorado has brought in more than $10 million in taxes, and is pacing ahead of pre-pandemic expectations. Most of the new revenue for the state is going toward the Colorado Water Plan, which was just given millions a few weeks ago.

“Colorado is going to be at the forefront of that is going to be a market that drives sports betting in the U.S. There are 26 sportsbooks currently live in Colorado, that is by far the biggest number in the country, and there’s still more to come,” St. Clair said. “It just adds to the excitement of the sports that you watch. But it needs to be in a responsible manner.”

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“I think that we have one of the most well-structured regulatory frameworks in the country. We have a competitive marketplace and that’s a good thing for customers and for Coloradans who are sports betting because they have different books to choose from. Everyone has to compete with one another, and they have to put out a really good product that people like, and they can’t get cheated,” Garnett said.

Jeff Todd