September financial numbers released at Wednesday’s meeting of the Kansas Lottery Commission showed a sports betting handle among the six licensed sportsbook operators of $160.5 million but just $1.29 million in revenue, giving the state $129,000 in new tax revenue.
The state law enacted this year in Kansas enables the operators to deduct their promotional credits as revenue for tax purposes, which particularly at launch tends to restrict the level of earnings, compared to the higher gross from losing wagers.
“We’re told by the industry this is normal at start-up and, keep in mind, this is one month,” said Keith Kocher, Kansas Lottery gaming facilities director. “We’re still going through player acquisition and building a database of players as we go along. We’re assured by the casinos and all the experts that, ‘Hey, this is normal.’“
Six operators are active, with more possible
Kansas had a soft launch on Sept. 1, and the six approved operators began taking bets on all sports on Sept. 8. FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, Barstool Sportsbook, and PointsBet are all active in Kansas.
Of the total handle, $5.6 million in bets was placed at retail sportsbooks at Hollywood Casino (Barstool), Kansas Star Casino (FanDuel), and Boot Hill Casino (DraftKings), with the remaining $154.9 million placed online via mobile platforms connected to those casinos or KC Crossing.
The early jostling for market share went in favor of mobile sports betting giants FanDuel and DraftKings, which together accounted for more than 70% of total mobile sports bets booked in Kansas last month. DraftKings took $74.2 million in mobile bets while FanDuel booked $35 million.
Of the six operators, FanDuel, DraftKings, Barstool, and BetMGM Kansas all had zero revenue or else lost money, according to the report, with Caesars clearing $295,256 and PointsBet making $30,891.
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly signed Senate Bill 84 into law in May, legalizing sports betting in the state. It enables each of the four Kansas commercial casinos to host three online sports-betting skins each, meaning there eventually could be as many as 12 online sportsbooks in the state. KC Crossing is the only one of the four to max out its skins in the first month, with agreements with Caesars, PointsBet, and BetMGM.