The first three weeks of sports betting in Kansas have gone smoothly, according to one of the state’s main regulators.
Kansas Lottery Executive Director Stephen Durrell told LSR last week there have been no struggles since the KS sports betting market opened Sept. 1. There are six operators taking bets, including 2.4 million in the first 10 days, according to the Lottery.
“On the part of the lottery, platforms and casinos, there are no complaints,” Durrell said. “There was one little hiccup with a credit card company. They weren’t processing transactions for three or four days, but that’s been the only hiccup. And we didn’t get any complaints on that.”
Kansas sports betting pace as expected
Those 2.4 million bets in the first 10 days were worth more than $39 million in wagers, according to the Lottery. Durrell said the launch prior to the first NFL betting weekend was key to early success.
He said there are expectations for action to slow down following the initial wave of promo offers from sportsbooks.
“During the session, there were so many numbers thrown around, it was sort of anyone’s guess so we erred on the side of caution,” Durrell said. “We knew there would be good numbers with the start of the professional football season, but they turned out to be very good.”
Strong performance for Kansas sports betting?
Based on population size alone, Connecticut sports betting offers a decent comparison to Kansas for a market launch. There are 3.5 million residents in Connecticut, while Kansas is home to 2.9 million, although with a lower per-capita household income.
Connecticut sportsbooks began taking bets Oct. 19, 2021. In the first 12 days, bettors in Connecticut wagered $54.1 million.
In addition to wealthier customers and better awareness of established casino brands, Connecticut has the added advantage of being in the heavily populated Northeast, where New York and Massachusetts had yet to launch mobile sports betting.
More operators ready for Kansas?
Each of the four Kansas-owned casinos can partner with up to three sportsbook operators. Just six license slots are filled, according to Durrell.
He has heard “rumblings” that another operator is preparing to submit an application. Another operator or two could come with the new year.
“All of our casino partners are happy with the platforms they have,” Durrell said.
The live Kansas sportsbooks are:
- Barstool Sportsbook
- BetMGM Sportsbook
- Caesars Sportsbook
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
Missouri making renewed sports betting push
With more than 340,000 blocked attempts to access Kansas sportsbooks, mostly in Kansas City, Missourians are clearly missing out on the action. Lawmakers from both states worked on legislation this spring, with Kansas successfully legalizing sports betting.
Missouri legislators are in a special session discussing tax cuts and there was a hearing held on a sports betting bill. While the sponsor, Rep. Dan Houx, acknowledges it is unlikely to see action, he told LSR it keeps the issue front and center heading into 2023.
“It’s been the number one topic constituents ask about this summer,” Houx said. “We’re just trying to keep it in the forefront of people’s minds. Do I think the governor will expand the session? I don’t know if he will, but it doesn’t sound like it. It’s not something I’ll be aggressive to make happen if not.”