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How Big of a Sports Betting Market Could Kansas Become?

A general fish eye view of the court before the game between the Kansas Jayhawks and George Mason Patriots at Allen Fieldhouse.

A general fish eye view of the court before the game between the Kansas Jayhawks and George Mason Patriots at Allen Fieldhouse.

USA TODAY Sports

The newsroom and editorial staff were not involved in the creation of this content.

A dozen Kansas sports betting apps, four retail sportsbooks, wagering kiosks at up to 200 retailers — when it’s finally rolled out in its totality, legal sports betting promises to become a major presence in Kansas. Unlike some other states that have struggled to find a balance between online and brick-and-mortar wagering or limited the scope of sports betting to try and appease conservative political factions, the Sunflower State has gone all-in.

That’s perhaps because Kansas has comfort level with legal gambling that includes four state-owned retail casinos, a lottery that earned the approval of 64% of voters in a 1986 referendum and pari-mutuel horse and dog racing that was legalized in 1987. Legal sports betting sites, which have swept the country after the US Supreme Court struck down a nationwide ban in 2018, seemed the logical next step.

So, how big could legal sports betting be in Kansas? The state’s tax rate on sports betting revenues will be a modest 10%, and Kansas ranks 35th among US states in population, with just under 3 million residents. But the state could still emerge as a robust sports betting market once Kansas sports betting sites launch sometime this fall.

Kansas Awash in Online and Retail Options

A primary factor working in favor of Kansas sports betting is the number of option bettors will have once the industry launches in full. The four state-run casinos — Hollywood in Kansas City, Boot Hill in Dodge City, Kansas Star in Mulvane and Kansas Crossing in Pittsburg — can each partner with up to three sports betting apps each, meaning that 12 Kansas betting apps could ultimately operate in the state.

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Trucks race in front of the Hollywood Casino during the Truck Series Heart of America 200 at Kansas Speedway. amy contras USA TODAY Sports

How does that stack up? Consider that New York, which has emerged as the nation’s top online sports betting market, had only eight online sportsbooks licensed in the state as of this spring. Illinois had only nine, Louisiana and Illinois only seven each. Although some states have as many as two dozen online sportsbooks available, they typically have much larger populations. And given that 90% of sports betting is typically conducted online, Kansas is positioned to get off to a very strong start.

Kansas also won’t require in-person registration (hello, Nevada) or ban wagering on in-state college sports (looking at you, New Jersey), both of which can both dissuade participation. And while retail wagering typically makes up a smaller percentage of overall sports betting, Kansas will eventually have physical sportsbooks at all four state-owned casinos, which can each also partner with up to 50 retailers to offer wagering kiosks.

The key, though, is the online customer. Kansas sportsbook promo codes will beckon new players with deals not available at brick-and-mortar books. For example, a BetMGM Kansas bonus code might net you a $1,000 risk-free bet, and a Caesars Sportsbook Kansas promo code scores a $1,500 risk-free first bet.

They are among a handful of industry players, which includes FanDuel Kansas and DraftKings Kansas that already have partnerships lined up.

Missouri Bettors Can Also Benefit

How much money could this bring in? Iowa, with a slightly larger population than Kansas and a lower tax rate on sports betting revenue (6.75%) saw over $2 billion wagered and generated $8.7 million in state tax revenue in 2021, according to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. West Virginia, with a smaller population than Kansas and equal tax rate of 10%, saw nearly $550 million wagered and $4.78 million in taxes generated in 2021, according to the state lottery.

West Virginia, though, is also surrounded by states with legal sports betting. Kansas is not, and with Missouri failing to approve a sports betting measure in 2022, the Sunflower State can expect lots of traffic from just over the state line – especially when it comes to Kansas City Chiefs betting.

Oklahoma to the south also does not allow sports betting, and Nebraska to the north is awaiting action on legislation that would allow retail wagering only at licensed horse tracks.

No, Kansas won’t be the next New York. But lots of option for bettors means lots of opportunities for bankroll-building sportsbook bonus codes, and a strong driving market from Missouri looking for NFL betting, college football betting and March Madness betting.

The Sunflower State is definitely positioned to punch well above its weight in the sports betting landscape.

Responsible Gambling

Always gamble responsibly. All licensed and legal operators in the United States have resources available to bettors, including educational guides on how to spot problem gaming, links to support services and tools to self-exclude for a set period of time. Support is available at the National Council on Problem Gaming, 1-800-GAMBLER and American Addiction Centers. Be sure to only wager on gambling sites that are licensed and regulated by the gaming regulatory body in your state. That ensures games are fair, bets are honored, customers’ funds are secure and that there are legal protections for the consumer.

Sports betting and gambling are not legal in all locations. Be sure to comply with applicable laws where you reside.

Veteran sports journalist David Caraviello has written about sports betting for several years and has covered college football, college basketball, motorsports and golf, covering all three US golf majors, the Daytona 500 and SEC football.

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