How Kansas Compares to Similar Sports Betting States

How Kansas Compares to Similar Sports Betting States article feature image

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images. Pictured: Kansas Jayhawks

Kansas sports betting is now live. As of Thursday, sports bettors can begin placing their in-person and mobile wagers.

Kansas is a unique betting state in that there is only one major professional franchise within state lines to bet on and it's an MLS team (Sporting Kansas City), but it's garnering a lot of attention from sportsbooks. There are a couple of teams just across the border in neighboring Missouri (Kansas City Chiefs; Kansas City Royals) that many Kansas bettors are expected to bet on.

Ten legal sports betting states don't have a major pro franchise but offer wagering for college teams, and Kansas is expected to see big dollars come in on its collegiate programs. Those teams include the Kansas Jayhawks, the Kansas State Wildcats, and the Wichita State Shockers.

We compared Kansas with the 10 other legal sports betting states that don't have a major pro franchise to see how Kansas is expected to stack up against states that have a similar profile. These states also have a lower population. As it turns out, Kansas is expected to generate a higher total sports betting handle than most of the states on this list which could be an indicator of why more sportsbooks were interested in entering the state.

Revenue Comparison Between College-Only Legal States

According to SportsHandle, here are the total revenue numbers from the legal sports betting states that only have college teams:

Legal States with College Teams Only (except Kansas)Total Sports Betting Handle
New Hampshire$1,448,949,449
West Virginia$1,523,013,485
Kansas (projection for one calendar year)$1,800,000,000

Most states on this chart have had legalized sports betting for three or four years, on average. Kansas' projected sports betting handle over the next calendar year is around $1.8 billion, which is more total handle than eight states mentioned in the table.

The revenue projection is boosted by a couple of factors — for one, the Kansas men's basketball team is always a big draw. The Jayhawks are coming off an NCAA Championship and are among the bluebloods of college hoops. They are always contenders in the NCAA Tournament, which is among the biggest draws for sports bettors every year.

Another contributing factor for Kansas' positive revenue projections is the expectation that bettors from neighboring Missouri will flood into Kansas to place their wagers. Kansas City in particular is expected to be a hotbed for submitted bets considering it borders Kansas and Missouri and is home to the Chiefs and Royals.

Missouri and Kansas legislators openly talked about the desire to beat each other on sports betting in their past sessions, as both appeared on parallel tracks to legalize the industry. How well Kansas does with sports betting will inevitably impact how soon Missouri legalizes it, especially if geolocation tracking data indicates a lot of betting activity along the Missouri/Kansas border.

Kansas could also see bettors from other surrounding states like Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas travel within its borders to place wagers. Kansas is surrounded by states that do not offer in-person or online betting (except for Colorado) so it's expected that these bettors will want to take their business to The Sunflower State to get their bets in.

Kansas is projected to generate $10 million a year from the $1.8 billion in handle and put 80% of the state's revenue toward the construction of new infrastructure to possibly attract new sports franchises to the state. The Chiefs are reportedly considering moving out of Missouri, possibly to Kansas, as their current stadium lease is good through the 2030-2031 season.

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