According to Gov. Laura Kelly, Kansas sports betting is off to a rousing start but the early revenue numbers are less enthusiastic.
Kansas sportsbooks took $160.5 million in bets during September, according to a Kansas Lottery report. However, with millions in promotional deductions taken by sportsbooks, they reported just $1.3 million in sports betting revenue during the first month of wagering, according to numbers revealed during last week’s Kansas Lottery meeting.
Kansas collected just under $130,000 in taxes during the first month. The state launched sports betting Sept. 1 after Kelly signed legislation in May.
“These revenues reinforce what we already knew: Legal sports betting is a common-sense solution that keeps Kansans’ money in Kansas and supports Kansas businesses,” Kelly said in a release before the Lottery meeting. “While legal wagering is just in its infancy, these revenues will continue to grow and benefit the state over time.”
Kansas sports betting deductions high
Kansas sportsbooks doled out $34.4 million in deductible promotional play in September. During last week’s Kansas Lottery meeting, Gaming Facilities Director Keith Kocher said regulators know this is a startup phase and revenue will continue to rise as promos decrease.
“We’re told by the industry this is normal at startup and, keep in mind, this is one month,” Kocher said during the meeting. “We’re still going through player acquisition and building a database of players as we go along, but we’re assured by the casinos and all the experts that, ‘Hey, this is normal.’”
FanDuel, DraftKings on top of Kansas sports betting
FanDuel and DraftKings took more than 70% of the bets in the debut month of Kansas sports betting. There were six mobile operators during the first month.
DraftKings dominated the first month, with $74.2 million in mobile bets. FanDuel trailed with $35 million.
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Barstool retail sportsbook a big draw
Barstool was a distant fourth in overall handle in Kansas sports betting. The retail sportsbook at Hollywood Casino, however, was by far the largest draw for in-person bets.
As one of three retail sportsbooks open during the month, it was the only one to take more than $1 million in bets, handling $4.4 million in wagers.
The handle might have benefited from fortunate timing as the sportsbook, next to Kansas Speedway, opened the same weekend as the Hollywood Casino 400 presented by Barstool Sportsbook. The weekend was also the start of NFL betting.
No KS hiccups yet as Missouri tries to catch up
Kansas Lottery Executive Director Stephen Durrell told LSR in September there were no major struggles during the launch month. The state took more than 2.4 million bets in the first 10 days of action.
While Kansas is pushing forward in its sports betting journey, Missouri could be missing out after not legalizing sports betting during the 2022 session. There were more than 340,000 blocked sports betting attempts from Missouri during the first few days of Kansas sports betting.
There will likely be multiple legislative attempts in 2023 to legalize Missouri sports betting, including from Rep. Dan Houx, who led an effort in 2022.