With lawmakers in Missouri battling over the future of sports betting, only one state was able to fully capitalize off last weekend’s NFL Draft being held in Kansas City.
For Kansas sportsbooks, the three-day made-for-TV spectacle held at Kansas City’s Union Station drew in outsized wagering demand during a period of the year usually full of lulls for operators.
Geolocation firm GeoComply charted nearly 500,000 geolocation checks and more than 29,000 sportsbook account check-ins from Kansas sports betting apps during the weekend.
On the flip side, NFL fans on the Missouri side of the line were locked out of wagering during the draft, with more than 65,000 sportsbook checks from close to 7,000 accounts being blocked by GeoComply between Thursday and Saturday.
John Pappas, who serves as the Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs at GeoComply, told BetKansas.com the weekend’s NFL Draft showed why Missouri lawmakers should act quickly on getting wagering in place before the start of the 2023 NFL regular season.
“The NFL Draft weekend underscored the disparity between those who can bet legally and those who cannot in the Kansas City metro area,” Pappas said. “Those in Missouri had to either cross into Kansas to place their wagers, or they turned to an offshore, unregulated sportsbook that provides zero protection for the player and zero economic benefit to either side of the border.”
Retail Sportsbooks See No Bump from Draft
The weekend’s sports betting festivities related to the Kansas City-hosted NFL Draft were unevenly distributed, with some retail sportsbooks seeing little action from the event.
Lydia Garvey, who serves as the Vice President and General Manager of Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway, told BetKansas.com the Barstool Sportsbook Kansas retail location didn’t get a lot of action last weekend.
The sportsbook, owned by Penn Entertainment, has been open since Kansas launched sports betting in September of last year. It is one of four retail locations in the state, joining the DraftKings facility at Boot Hill, FanDuel’s retail space at Kansas Star and Caesars Sportsbook Kansas at Kansas Crossing.
Garvey told BetKansas.com the Kansas City retail facility saw no noticeable change in the number of patrons during the draft compared to an average spring weekend.
Regardless of the in-person demand for sports betting during the weekend’s NFL Draft, there’s sure to be lots of action in the months ahead as we approach the opening kickoff of the 2023 Chiefs campaign.
Oddsmakers at BetMGM Kansas have the Chiefs as the Super Bowl favorite at +650, with Kansas City holding the best AFC futures as well at +350.
With the 2023 NFL Draft in the rearview, it’s time for football fans to look forward to the fall when Patrick Mahomes and company take to the field at Arrowhead Stadium once again.
Whether Kansas’ neighbor to the east will have wagering on the books by then remains to be hashed out in Jefferson City in the weeks ahead.
Pappas, for one, hopes Missouri lawmakers will heed the example of Kansas and use the last 11 days of the 2023 session to get something done.
“The clock is ticking on another legislative session for Missouri without legalization,” Pappas said. “I hope 2023 is not another missed opportunity.”