KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas took in nearly three times as much in tax revenue from sports gambling in November as it had in the first two months since its legalization.
The Kansas Lottery — which oversees sports wagering at casino sportsbooks, online and via mobile apps in the state since it became legal in September — released its monthly report for November, which showed overall sports wagers were down slightly from October but reported revenues rose sharply.
The total amount of settled wagers handled by Kansas retail and online sportsbooks dipped for the first time last month to nearly $186.4 million, a drop of nearly 2% from October.
But taxable revenue — which was less than $1.3 million in September and barely $1.4 million in October — shot up to more than $8 million in November.
That means Kansas earned $795,784 as its share of sports-wagering revenues in November. The state share for September and October was only $270,706 combined.
However, Kansas actually set a record with more than $9.3 million in settled wagers at casino sportsbooks in November, but that bulk of the gambling action — more than $177 million in November — takes place online, including mobile gaming apps.
DraftKings remains the largest of the sports-wagering bookmakers operating in Kansas followed by FanDuel, but neither had contributed substantially to state revenues in the first two months due to the massive promotional offerings.
“Many of the platform providers have offered free bet sign up bonuses and other promotional offers through this launch period to acquire new players and otherwise establish a player base,” the Kansas Lottery said in an email to KSHB 41. “While the winning prizes have generally been in line with industry expectations, the promotional wagers have been significant compared to overall play in this period.”
A spokesperson for the Kansas Lottery called such “aggressive promotional play” at the outset of a statewide sports-gambling launch an “industry standard” practice.
Despite handling nearly $158 million in wagers during September and October, DraftKings claimed a net revenue loss for the first month and a meager $24,263 in reported revenue for the second month.
FanDuel handled more than $89 million in wagers, but claimed a net revenue for those two months of less than $393,000.
Those revenue numbers resulted in Kansas collecting a paltry $41,642 from more than $247 million combined wagers on DraftKings and FanDuel in September and October, but the revenue picture became considerably more rosy in November.
DraftKings posted more than $1.15 million in reported revenue and FanDuel reported more than $4.8 million, leading to a state share of nearly $600,000 combined, which accounts for the bulk of the Kansas monies received last month.
Revenue expectations moving forward are more in line with November’s numbers and most sportsbooks operating in Kansas have started to generate positive revenue.
“As expected, the promotional play during the first several months has been significant compared to the overall wagering activity,” the Kansas Lottery said. “Through 3 months, only one of the platform providers (BetMGM) is yet to show positive revenue.”
Kansas sports-wagering revenues climb, total betting dips slightly in November.