Colorado bettors give up on ping-pong; BetRivers remodel Penguins arena


Colorado’s sports betting market saw its handle more than double from July to August thanks to new operators and the return of major league play.

Figures released Wednesday by the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Division of Gaming show the state’s licensed bookmakers generated betting turnover of over $128.6m in August, up 117% from July’s figure. Of that sum, digital channels accounted for all but $2m.

August’s betting revenue totaled $1.88m, a step down from July’s $2.4m, as hold slipped nearly three points from July to 5.85%. The return of NBA action drove August’s handle surge, as basketball’s share of the wagering pie shot up 24 points month-to-month to 29.6%, while baseball slipped to second place despite rising nearly two points to 17.7%.  

Basketball’s resumption took a big bite out of ping pong, which had gamely tried to fill the void left by the pandemic-related halt of most major sports. Table tennis accounted for 24% of June’s wagers, but that dipped to 8.6% in July wagers and dipped further to just 3.5% in August. See you during the second COVID wave, fellas.


Colorado now has 13 functional online betting sites, but PointsBet is not yet among them. The company has a local land-based partner (Double Eagle Hotel & Casino), partnerships with the state’s NBA and NHL teams as well as the first NCAA betting deal with the CU Buffs, and PointsBet has also made Denver its US headquarters but it still hasn’t gotten around to launching online in Colorado.  

PointsBet is operating online in Indiana and just raised its profile significantly through an official betting partnership with the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts. The one-year non-exclusive deal gives PointsBet access to the usual array of team trademarks and a title sponsorship of the in-house pregame show Colts Ramp Up.


Rush Street Gaming just struck a far more interesting deal that may have gotten the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins a little bit pregnant, betting-wise. Rush Street’s Rivers Casino Pittsburgh and BetRivers have inked an exclusive multi-year deal to become the Penguins’ Official Casino and Official Sportsbook.

The deal allows for the construction of a “branded, hi-tech BetRivers Sportsbook-Style Lounge” at PPG Paints Arena which will feature a bar with lots of TVs and room to mill about – assuming COVID-19 ever truly leaves us – plus two rows of luxury seating (model pictured above). That last element will require the removal of “several rows” of seats in the top of section 120 in the arena’s lower bowl, so the deal clearly came at a cost to Rush Street.

For the time being, the new lounge will only resemble the sportsbook at Rivers Pittsburgh, but clearly Rush Street wouldn’t mind switching on the betting once the team and the league get a little more comfortable to the US new wagering climate. Until then, hey, there’s always the sportsbook on your phone.