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One of the newest legal sports betting markets to launch in the US is in the state of Kansas where sportsbooks started taking bets on September 1 and in the first ten days of operation, 2.4 million bets were placed, according to KS Lottery Executive Director Stephen Durrell.
Those 2.4 million Kansan wagers generated a $39 million handle, remarkable totals considering the entire population of that state is just over 2.9 million, results that far exceeded Director Durrell’s early expectations, saying:
During the session, there were so many numbers thrown around, it was sort of anyone’s guess, so we erred on the side of caution. We knew there would be good numbers with the start of the professional football season, but they turned out to be very good.
All that action is the result of multiple factors including the initial excitement caused by the newness of the market, giveaways by the sportsbooks meant to entice new customers to join and bet, and the start of the NFL season which began during the first week of September.
Remarkably, there were few problems with the Kansas legal sports betting launch.
It was the job of the KS Lottery to set up and execute the regulatory part of the state’s new legal sports betting market including the reviewing of license applications, creating and testing the betting platforms and security systems, and scores of other details to make the operation safe.
That process was handled almost flawlessly according to Executive Director Durrell, who told the media about the one “little hiccup” that did occur:
On the part of the lottery, platforms, and casinos, there are no complaints. There was one little hiccup with a credit card company. They weren’t processing transactions for three or four days, but that’s been the only hiccup. And we didn’t get any complaints on that.
Some of that credit also goes to the state-owned casinos who are permitted to partner up with three sportsbook partners each, though so far only a half dozen of those licenses have been taken, a sign that this market is set for growth once the other players begin joining in.
As financially successful as the Kansas legal sports betting launch seems to be thus far, making money for the state was not the main reason to create that market, the true purpose being to attract pro sports teams like the Kansas City Chiefs to set up shop in the Sunflower State.
In fact, state leader set up a fund earmarked specifically for the purpose of luring pro teams there, and it is no doubt working to some extent given that the state’s closest neighbor, Missouri, has yet to launch its own legal sports betting market.
That means that gambling fans of pro teams like the KC Chiefs based in Missouri cannot place legal wagers in Arrowhead Stadium during the games, and with that team set to renegotiate its locational contract having the ability to place bets could be a deal maker.
Missouri gamblers have attempted to illegally use the new Kansas Sportsbooks at least 340k times and have been blocked, so expect that state’s lawmakers to pay attention and move forward on the issue in their next legislative session in 2023.
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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