Kansas City Has Big First Weekend Of Sports Betting

Written By Pat Evans on September 8, 2022 - Last Updated on September 18, 2022
Kansas sports betting

The debut of Kansas sports betting topped New York in at least one metric.

During the opening weekend of KS sports betting, Sept. 1-4, there were 2.3 million geolocation pings, according to data from GeoComply. Six sportsbooks were at the starting line in Kansas.

With 132,000 unique users, 6.7% of the adult population in the Sunflower State recorded an online transaction, according to GeoComply. That percentage is significantly more than the 3.3% of New Yorkers who logged in during the Empire State’s first weekend of online sports betting in January.

“It’s very popular so far. I think that I’ll be very curious to see how much of a percentage of the population overall signs up for it in the end,” Kansas Lottery Executive Director Stephen Durrell said at a Lottery meeting Wednesday. “Right now it certainly seems like in the first six days, it’s been working pretty well.”

How Kansas sports betting debut stacks up

Kansas also outpaced the Louisiana sports betting launch early this year in per-capita bettors, as approximately 3.6% of Louisianans recorded a transaction. Louisiana opened its market during the NFL Conference Championship weekend and saw 3.4 million pings.

During Arizona‘s first weekend in September 2021, the state reached 6.1 million pings.

While the per-capita count surpassed New York, the small population size of Kansas will not compete with the $150 million wagered by New Yorkers in the first weekend of betting. State populations for comparison:

  • New York: 19.8 million
  • Arizona: 7.1 million
  • Louisiana: 4.6 million
  • Kansas: 2.9 million

Kansas measures up to Connecticut

In terms of population, a solid comparison for sports betting revenue potential is Connecticut. The Constitution State opened in October 2021, with GeoComply recording 1.2 million pings in its first several days.

Connecticut has 3.5 million residents.

Since October, Connecticut sportsbooks have taken $1.2 billion in wagers with the state collecting $8.2 million in taxes.

Missourians try Kansas sports betting

While Kansas legislators were able to pass sports betting this spring, efforts in Missouri fell apart late in the session. Both legislatures were vocal about wanting to beat the other state to launch sports betting.

The battle continued as Kansas sportsbooks opened for business. During the first eight hours of operation Sept. 1, GeoComply blocked more than 16,000 tries by Missourians looking to place wagers on Kansas sportsbooks.

Of those attempts, 60% were in Kansas City, MO, just across the border from Kansas.

Kansas geolocation details

The bulk of Kansas City is on the Missouri side of the border, but two Kansas cities in the metro area made up the two top markets for geolocation pings: Overland Park and Kansas City, KSWichita was No. 3.

College football betting was a draw in Kansas during the first weekend. At the University of Kansas football opening Sept. 2 in Lawrence, there were 1,400 geolocation pings at David Booth Stadium.

There were 3,500 pings Sept. 3 at the Kansas State University opener at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan.

Full sports betting launch this week

The Sept. 1 date was a soft rollout for Kansas sportsbooks. The Kansas Lottery pegged Thursday’s NFL opening game as the full launch.

Kansans will likely flock to bet the Kansas City Chiefs opening game Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. BetMGM nabbed a partnership with the Chiefs on Sept. 1.

Barstool Sportsbook will host a big weekend at the Kansas Speedway as it secured naming rights to the NASCAR race Sunday.

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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based reporter covering sports business. Evans previously worked at Front Office Sports and the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He has authored two books: Grand Rapids Beer and Nevada Beer.

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