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More than $1.5B wagered in Kansas in first year of legalized sports betting

Gov Kelly Wager.jpeg
Posted at 1:45 PM, Sep 01, 2023

TOPEKA, Kan. — It turns out the Kansas City Chiefs' run to a Super Bowl LVII championship may have played a big role in what was a lucrative first year of legalized sports betting in Kansas.

The state legalized sports betting on Sept. 1, 2022, and as we mark this first year, I wanted to see some of the numbers involved.

LINK | First legal bet in Kansas belonged to Gov. Laura Kelly, who wagered the Chiefs would win the Super Bowl

I reached out to the Kansas Lottery, the agency that tracks the money involved in sports betting across the state.

Cory Thone told me that in the first year of sports betting in Kansas, there was $1,601,476,259 in settled wagers, with $1,456,266,843 being paid out as winnings.

In accordance with Senate Bill 84, the transfer number is 10% of revenues after voided wagers, federal excise taxes, free plays or other promotional credits, and amounts paid as prizes.

After all deductions, there was a total revenue of $58,726,207.

Most of that money, 90%, goes to the casino managers/platform managers. All operating expenses, such as infrastructure and promotions, are paid for by the casinos/platforms as well.

The remaining 10%, in this case $5,872,621, goes to the State of Kansas. Here's how that money will be allocated:

  • White Collar Crime Fund $750,000
  • Problem Gambling and Addictions Grant Fund $102,452
  • Attracting Professional Sports to Kansas Fund $4,098,097
  • State Gaming Revenues Fund via Lottery Operating Fund $922,072

I also wanted to see if there was a measurable increase in the number of people seeking help battling a gambling problem or addiction.
I spoke to Cara SloanRamos, the public information officer for the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS). That department manages the problem gambling helpline, 1-800-522-4700.

She shared with me the following chart, which shows that overall calls to the helpline were not particularly high, but there has been an increase in the number of calls since sports betting became legal.

On that topic, I also reached out to Randy Evans, Manager of Government Relations at the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.

He told me that there's also a program called the Voluntary Exclusion Program. A person is able to sign up to basically be barred from being able to gamble in the state.

That program existed before legalized sports betting, but now there is a sports wagering specific exclusion.

Since last year, 150 people have signed up for that exclusion.