We’re less than two weeks away from the soft launch of Kansas sports betting, which means it’s time to begin assessing how the market may fare in the coming months.
When it comes to legal sports betting in the United States, the Sunflower State will be unique. While there is only one professional team (Sporting Kansas City) in the state, Kansas’ Northeast corner serves as a suburb for Kansas City, Mo., and its two pro teams (the NFL’s Chiefs and MLB’s Royals).
And at least for the time being, there is no legal sports betting in Missouri, so fans will have to cross the border and use Kansas betting apps to fulfill their wagering wants.
Kansas also has a longstanding college sports tradition, with two state universities that play in the Big 12 (Kansas and Kansas State) and another that’s a men’s basketball powerhouse (Wichita State).
Add all that, in addition to Kansas Speedway’s annual NASCAR race, and you have a sporting market that’s sure to attract the biggest names in wagering.
The question now shifts to how much money Kansans will plunk down at the best Kansas sportsbooks when the state soft launches Sept. 1. Kansas’ formal launch Sept. 8 coincides with the opening night of the 2022 NFL regular season, when the Buffalo Bills and L.A. Rams square off from Inglewood.
Initial Kansas betting promotions are already pilling up.
In the last two weeks, DraftKings Kansas, FanDuel Sportsbook Kansas and BetMGM Sportsbook Kansas have all announced their early registration deals for customers wanting to set up accounts before the big day. The current BetMGM Kansas bonus code offer includes $200 in free bets with no deposit required upon signing up for an account.
It's expected there will be a Caesars Sportsbook Kansas promo code in advance of the soft launch very soon as well.
BetKansas.com compiled a projection of how the Sunflower State’s sports betting marketplace may perform in the year ahead, based on the numbers we’ve seen out of a similar state out west.
States in Their First Year of Sports Betting*
How Will Kansas Sports Betting Perform Out of the Gate?
BetKansas.com used the state of Arizona as its comparison point for the Sunflower State.
That choice came from Arizona’s decision to allow a wide-open wagering market (with 18 licenses issued to date and another two up for grabs in the future), which compares favorably to the three sports betting skins each Kansas’ four state-owned casinos can offer.
Additionally, both Kansas and Arizona have longstanding ties to NFL and MLB teams, and both markets kicked off at the start of the NFL and college football seasons — when sports betting nationally is at its peak.
The main difference between the two states is their populations, with the 2020 U.S. Census listing Arizona at 7,276,316 (vs. Kansas at 2,934,582).
To overcome that population difference, BetKansas.com used the $613.49 per person bet in Arizona between Sept. 2021 and May 2022 (the most recent month reported) to project $1.78 billion in handle over the first 12 months in Kansas.
That would mean Kansas sportsbooks would rake in, on average, $150 million per month over the first year of operations.
Where Kansas Sports Betting Might Stand
At $150 million in handle per month, Kansas’ marketplace would rank ahead of Louisiana, which averaged $142.5 million in handle per month between its November 2021 launch date and June.
BetKansas.com’s estimate would also rank ahead of Indiana ($100.1 million per month), Iowa ($32.585 million per month) and Wyoming ($8.665 million).
The Sunflower State’s projection would fall just shy of Michigan’s opening year average of $165.7 million and Colorado’s average of $193.7 million but still shows the strength that has attracted the biggest names in mobile sports betting to the heart of the Midwest.