Colorado became the sixth state to surpass $1bn in wagers for a year, despite not launching sports betting until May 2020, as the region closed out 2020 with another record month.

Lauded as a “significant accomplishment” by analysts, online and retail entities secured an eighth consecutive month of record wagering with $284.6m in December, representing a 23.1 per cent rise from the previous record of $231.2m set in November.

Gross gaming revenue fell just short of a state record after hitting $17.2m, down from the high of $18.4m set just a month earlier according to data released by the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Division of Gaming.

Net sports betting proceeds fell to $5.7m, down from $9m in November. Sports betting produced $531,490 in state taxes in December.

“Colorado’s launch in the heart of a pandemic has, perhaps inadvertently, spawned what could be the most innovative market in the country,” said Ian St. Clair, analyst for PlayColorado.com

“It’s not just that table tennis remains a popular draw in the state, even months after the return of major US sports. It’s also the way operators are using unique betting markets to help connect with customers. The unusual recipe has unquestionably been a success.”

For the year as a whole, Colorado’s retail and online sportsbooks produced $1.2bn in wagers, of which $1.17bn was made online; $75.8m in gross gaming revenue; $28.3m in net betting proceeds; and $3m in state taxes, including $2.2m in the last three months.

“After a slow start as sportsbooks ramped up, the last three months prove that sports betting will be a reliable revenue generator for the state,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayColorado.com

“Revenue ebbs and flows in every sports betting market, typically peaking at the height of the football season. In that way, Colorado’s pattern is on par with what we see most everywhere in the US.”

With heavy action in December on pro football ($88.2m), pro basketball ($42.9m), and college basketball ($35.2m), Colorado will likely place sixth in the US, behind New Jersey, Nevada, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.