Opening Day of Kansas Sports Betting a Success For Operators, Regulators

Opening Day of Kansas Sports Betting a Success For Operators, Regulators
By Christopher Boan
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

The opening 24 hours of Kansas sports betting went about as well as can be expected, at least according to regulators and operators.

The Sunflower State became the 31st state to launch some form of wagering at noon Thursday, with six operators going live in what the Kansas Lottery termed a “soft launch.”

The theme that emerged when talking with those involved in Thursday’s launch was how dedicated the state’s residents were from the get-go, and how prepared the folks behind the scenes were in getting Kansas mobile betting apps up and running.

“We are pleased that sports wagering has successfully launched today in Kansas,” Kansas Lottery Public Information Officer Cory Thone told BetKansas.com on Thursday afternoon. “It’s clear that sports betting is very popular with our players, and we will soon have more information available as we start evaluating the first day’s wagering.”

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Takeaways From Thursday’s Opening Day

While we won’t know formal numbers from the opening day and weekend in Kansas for a bit longer, the word from operators is positive.

John Ewing, who is a representative of BetMGM, said its opening day in Kansas showed a lot of interest in the region’s lone NFL team the Kansas City Chiefs.

“The first bet we took online was $35 on the Bengals to win the Super Bowl +2000,” Ewing said in an email to BetKansas.com. “Eighty-one percent of bets on the Super Bowl are on the Chiefs +1000.”

Those who took advantage of the BetMGM Kansas bonus code for pre-registration had four $50 free bets waiting in their account when the operator went live.

The song was much the same for Australian operator PointsBet Sportsbook Kansas, which had an outsized amount of interest in the Kansas City Royals during Thursday’s opening day.

“PointsBet launched in Kansas at 12 p.m. CT, and the first Kansas bet was Kansas City Royals moneyline at White Sox for $50 at +150,” Janelle Laignelet, who serves as a communications manager at PointsBet, told BetKansas.com. “It’s good to note that action on the Kansas City Royals to beat the Chicago White Sox (Thursday) is PointsBet’s most popular bet by tickets and handle in the state.”

Stephen Miraglia, who serves as the senior director of communications for DraftKings, told BetKansas.com the Boston-based operator has been impressed by Kansas’ initial turnout.

“We’re off to a great start in Kansas,” Miraglia said in an email to BetKansas.com. “Launch was smooth, and we took our first bet just 23 seconds after noon local time yesterday.” 

Some of the tidbits Miraglia shared from Day 1 were that the top-five teams, by handle, during Day 1 were Kansas State, Kansas, the Royals, Oklahoma State and West Virginia.

Miraglia said Thursday’s West Virginia-Pittsburgh college football game was the state leader in events by handle, followed by the Royals-White Sox game and Missouri’s opener against Louisiana Tech on Thursday night.

Caesars Sportsbook, meanwhile, has had a lot of interest in the Chiefs so far, with the first bet taken being a $5 wager on Andy Reid’s team to make the playoffs at +100, according to Bradley Harwood, who is the Emperor’s director of public relations.  

The initial Caesars Sportsbook Kansas promo code gave bettors a risk-free first bet up to $1,250.

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Contributors

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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