SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. — In September, it will officially be a year since Kansas launched sports wagering at state casinos.
The new activity brought changes for both casinos and gambling addiction resources, KSNW reports.
According to the Kansas Lottery, the state saw almost $6 million in revenue during the first year of sports wagering.
The Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission (KRGC) said it’s been a smooth transition introducing the new gambling service to the state.
At Kansas State Casino in Mulvane, people are enjoying the new addition.
“Now, for us as a full resort destination, we get a whole new group of folks coming in to watch games, and it’s allowed us to introduce them to what we have here at the Kansas Star,” Kansas Star Casino Vice President and General Manager Doug Lang said.
Fall sports season is a busy time for its service, Fanduel Sportsbook.
“We’ve extended our hours of operation, we’ve provided more staffing, and it’s just for us a really great experience to provide for our players,” said Lang.
As sports betting became legal, concerns were heightened for gambling addictions.
“There was a slight uptick in the calls to the problem gambling helpline,” said South Central Kansas Problem Gambling Task Force Chair Stephenie Roberts.
The South Central Kansas Problem Gambling Task Force Chair, Stephanie Roberts, said betting on your phone can make a difference.
“Which increases the risk that someone is going to develop a problem because easy accessibility means they don’t have to wait, and with sports betting in particular, there are multiple ways to bet on a game,” Roberts said.
The KRGC said the new list to voluntarily ban yourself from sports wagering in the state gained about 150 people in the first year.
“I would say that that is pretty standard for the casino sizes that we have,” said Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission Government Relations Manager Randy Evans.
Kansas Star Casino said each employee is trained on the signs of problem gambling to encourage responsible playing.
The task force wants to see more advertising for the helpline as betting continues, as well as education and more restrictions to help stop kids from accessing bets on their phones.
The KRGC said it expects sports betting to increase in this second year as people are more comfortable with placing bets on their phones or at casinos.
Experts recommend being aware of gambling addictions. They said to limit how much money and time you spend at the casino or on your phone.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling problem, help is available.
Find resources from the Kansas Behavioral Health Services, Kansas Gambling Help, or call the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network at 1-800-522-4700.