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Kansas sports books looking to cash in on March Madness basketball

Hollywood casino sportsbook
Posted at 5:29 PM, Mar 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-16 19:29:08-04

KANSAS CITY, KS. — March Madness is here and sports books in Kansas are hoping to cash in.

According to the Kansas Lottery, statewide sports wagering revenue totaled $194,034,469 in February. That's a decline compared to the $206,060,734 in January.

A lottery spokesperson explained the reason for the decline was because Kansas bettors placed wagers on the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl, which they did.

Hollywood Casino sports book manager Tanner Rome expects March Madness to provide a financial rebound.

"With the local teams being it the tournament, that just drives more people in here," Rome said.

Rome added games on Thursday generated a lot of interest.

“It’s been busy all day with KU playing," he said. "It brings in a whole different crowd so, it’s a lot of fun.”

Mark Bergman was excited to place his bets on Thursday.

"I don’t live very far from here, so it’s nice to be able to come over here and do this," Bergman said. "I always love being in a casino."

Yvette Koehler also placed her bets on Thursday.

“We love coming to watch March Madness," Koehler said. "We’ve done it for several years now and then you can have a break and go into the casino and of course we come to watch our Jayhawks."

Missouri lawmakers are trying to get in on the action and legalize sports wagering this year.

Currently, bills are being considered in the House and Senate. Legislators have to get something passed before the legislative session ends by May 13.

While Missouri lawmakers debate legislation, people like Keith and Christy Fowler travel to Kansas.

“We’re having a blast and the people that inside are just having a blast along with us," Keith Fowler said. "They’re yelling at every bucket that goes in or misses. If they pay off then I’ll have a better time.”