Kansas Sports Betting Regulators, Operators Encouraged After Market’s Opening Month

Kansas Sports Betting Regulators, Operators Encouraged After Market’s Opening Month
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

With the one-month anniversary of the official launch of Kansas sports betting coming up Saturday, it’s worth looking back at the opening 30 days in the Sunflower State.

It’s safe to say the opening stretch in the newest state to launch legal sports betting has been a success story, with regulators and operators alike singing the praises of those that made Kansas’ Sept. 8 launch date happen.

Though we won’t know the official sports betting handle and revenue information until next week, Kansas Lottery Public Information Officer Cory Thone told BetKansas.com September was as close to an ideal launch as possible.

“Sports betting has successfully kicked off in Kansas, and players could not be more excited to get in on the action,” Thone said. “The launch went smoothly thanks to the efforts of our casino partners, the sports wagering platforms, the KRGC, and our staff at the Kansas Lottery. We will continue to work to make sports betting in Kansas safe, secure, and fun for all players as we expand and grow.”

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What Kansas Operators Have to Say About September

Representatives from Kansas betting apps shared Thone’s sentiments when asked to assess how the state handled itself during the opening month of wagering.

Kevin Hennessy, who serves as the director of publicity for FanDuel Sportsbook, said in an email to BetKansas.com the New York-based operator has been impressed by the early response from customers and their commitment to local college and professional teams.

Hennessy cited the Kansas Jayhawks’ surprise 5-0 start (their best since 2009) as a key to the fast start of FanDuel Kansas.

“We are pleased with the start of legal sports betting in the state of Kansas,” Hennessy said. “Kansas customers have really embraced college football, and it has been fun watching teams like the University of Kansas go 5-0 to start the season. We are also excited about our retail sportsbook at the Kansas Star and the number of customers joining us to watch the MLB Playoffs, football and the start of the NBA season that is weeks away.”

Others, like Stephen Miraglia of DraftKings Kansas, went so far as to call the rollout process “seamless,” showing how well regulators from the Kansas Lottery and Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission handled themselves between when SB 84 passed the legislature in late April and now.

“So far so good in Kansas. Entry into the market has been seamless,” Miraglia said in an email to BetKansas.com. “Always good to be able to provide customers with a safe, legal and regulated form of sports betting.” 

Miraglia said the Boston-based operator has seen outsized interest in the Kansas City Chiefs and Jayhawks football games so far, with the two teams pacing their top games, both by bets and by handle.

Overall, the top games for DraftKings Kansas, by bets, were the Chiefs’ Week 2 win over the L.A. Chargers, followed by the Chiefs’ Week 3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, and the Chiefs’ Week 1 win at the Arizona Cardinals.

Among the most profitable games for customers at DraftKings were the Chiefs-Cardinals contest, along with Kansas’ Week 3 win over Houston, and Kansas State’s season opening win over South Dakota.

DraftKings is partnered with Boot Hill Casino. BetMGM, Caesars and PointsBet Kansas are affiliated with Kansas Crossing Casino.

“Our opening month was met with anticipation from the passionate Kansas sports community,” said Jamie Coombes, vice president of U.S. Digital Strategy at PointsBet. “Having the ability to be on the starting line, and as the college football and NFL seasons were starting, was a gamechanger. We’re excited to continue to inject the PointsBet brand into the Sunflower State’s sports betting market — one that will continue to see a rise in action as the NBA season kicks off soon.”

Todd Allen, who serves as the director of wagering at the KRGC, said outsized interest in the greater Kansas City area’s teams shows the state’s rollout of wagering has been an overwhelming success story.

“With the continued growth of new users in the state of Kansas we feel like the opening month has been successful for the state of Kansas,” Allen said in an email to BetKansas.com.

For those betting on college football or the NFL, BetKansas.com is the place to go for Kansas sportsbook promotions.

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Christopher Boan is a lead writer at BetKansas.com specializing in covering state issues. He covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years.

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