The first year of sports betting in Kansas is officially in the books, after the Kansas Lottery reported a handle of $94,415,479 for the month of August.
The figure put the Sunflower State’s 12-month total (between September 2022 and August 2023) at $1.85 billion — averaging out to $154 million per month.
Between the state’s “soft launch” on Sept. 1, 2022 and the end of August, one theme that has emerged is the surprising success of sports betting in a state with a small population base (2,937,150) and limited in-state professional sports teams (one).
Brendan Bussmann, who serves as a managing partner at B Global Advisors, told BetKansas.com the Sunflower State has exceeded the industry’s expectations across the board through 12 months, with more room for growth.
“After one year, Kansas has a strong base for its sports betting market,” Bussmann said. “With the market shift in players of Fanatics taking over for PointsBet and the advent of ESPN coming into the market with Penn Entertainment in the Kansas City market, there will continue to be additional grown opportunities in addition to the maturing of the market."
A Year to Remember
For longtime lottery officials, such as Cory Thone — who serves as the public information officer for the state agency — the opening year of Kansas sportsbook apps was a win-win for the state and operators alike.
“It was a successful first year of sports betting in Kansas, which officially began in September of 2022,” Thone told BetKansas.com. “We are eager to begin the fall sports season and see what big wins await our players this year.”
The top operator in the state during the opening year of operation was DraftKings Kansas Sportsbook — which reported a total handle of $753,459,679 — averaging out to $62,788,306 per month. The Boston-based operator finished well ahead of FanDuel Sportsbook Kansas, which had $538,423,131 in handle.
Between DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Kansas, the two online sports betting behemoths pulled down 69.8% of the total handle during the state’s opening year of wagering.
How The Sunflower State Was Won
On a statewide basis, a major impetus behind the rise of Kansas betting — which includes numerous Kansas sportsbook promos — was the lack of wagering in Missouri, Bussmann said.
The continued failure of the Missouri legislature to get sports betting across the finish line has prompted Missourians to flee across the river into Kansas to place their bets, which has propped up the state’s sports betting numbers on a monthly basis.
And with Missouri failing to approve sports betting legislation in 2023, it seems certain the Sunflower State will continue to be winners of the sports betting Border War for at least another year.
“Kansas continues to be the No. 1 beneficiary from the lack of ability for Missouri to move,” Bussmann said. “As long as Senator Denny Hoskins puts his family first over his constituents and the states, those in the Kansas City market will continue to drive over the boarder to participate in legal sports betting.”