News Briefs

Kansas collects $7M from $1.85B in sports bets in first year of legalized gambling

By: - September 29, 2023 2:16 pm
Rep. Troy Waymaster, R-Bunker Hill and chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, secured first-round approval Tuesday of a $20 billion state government budget. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Rep. Troy Waymaster, seen here during a March 2022 session of the House, questions whether all provisions of the state's sports betting law are being fully utilized. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — The state’s first year of sports betting brought in $7 million in state revenue from $1.85 billion in wagers.

In a Thursday update to committee lawmakers, Kansas Lottery finance director Matt Schwartz said revenue projections were basically on track with expectations.

“Sports wagering revenues, we’re now a little more than 12 months in,” Schwartz said. “The state’s share of revenues for the first fiscal year, which was 10 months of operation, was a little more than $5.8 million.”

The fiscal year ended June 30. From the September 2022 introduction of sports betting through the end of August this year, the state has collected about $7 million in sports betting taxes, and sports bettors have staked about $1.85 billion.

Schwartz said the organization wasn’t expecting a “big change” in revenue for the upcoming year, estimating the state’s share of revenue would likely be around $10 million in fiscal year 2024.

August numbers reported $94.4 million in settled wagers for the month, generating $484,366 in state sporting bet taxes. 

The state’s gaming law, which followed years of legislative debate over the merits of sports betting, cleared the way for Kansas’ four state-owned casinos to participate in in-person sportsbooks and mobile sports betting. 

The state’s share of sports gambling revenue was set at 10%, but the law is written to allow sports betting companies who partner with the casinos to deduct promotional subsidies from taxable revenue, leading to higher company profits and lower state returns.

The majority of the state’s sports betting revenue is placed in a fund dedicated to attracting professional sports franchises to Kansas — however unlikely the fund’s success may be.

Another provision of the law allows casinos to partner with businesses, such as restaurants, and nonprofit organizations. Rep. Troy Waymaster, a Bunker Hill Republican, said the provision needed to be utilized more.

 “That was one of the biggest provisions of sports betting, with the anticipation that it would broaden sports betting across the state of Kansas,” Waymaster said.

“There’s only four entities in the entire state, out of 105 counties, that have signed up,” Waymaster added. “That’s not a very good response rate, in my opinion.”

Overall, net casino gaming revenues were $407.1 million in fiscal year 2023, marking a $6.1 million increase from the previous year. Out of the revenue, the Kansas Lottery transferred $97.7 million into the Expanded Lottery Act Revenues Fund and the Problem Gambling and Addictions Grant Fund.

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Rachel Mipro
Rachel Mipro

A graduate of Louisiana State University, Rachel Mipro has covered state government in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. She and her fellow team of journalists were 2022 Goldsmith Prize Semi-Finalists for their work featuring the rise of the KKK in northern Louisiana, following racially-motivated shootings in 1960. With her move to the Midwest, Rachel is now turning her focus toward issues within Kansas public policies.