KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Bettors in the Sunflower State are winning big now that sports gambling is legal.
The Kansas Lottery said from Sept. 1-11, over 2.4 million bets were placed in Kansas, and those gamblers have cashed in over $47 million in winnings.
But there’s clearly plenty of interest so far. The agency said the most popular teams that people are betting on are the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals, as well as the Kansas State Wildcats and the Kansas Jayhawks.
When it comes to specific games and events, the Kansas Lottery said the Chiefs’ season opener against the Arizona Cardinals brought in plenty of bets. The NFL’s season opener, Buffalo Bills vs. Los Angeles Rams, was a popular betting choice.
Plus, with last weekend’s NASCAR races at Kansas Speedway, the Kansas Lottery said Hollywood Casino in KCK and its sportsbook partner Barstool Sports broke Penn Gaming’s record for a new property opening.
Kansas’ interest in sports betting seems to be part of a growing national trend.
A new survey released this week found that nearly one in five U.S. adults bet money on sports over the past year. However, the survey said most were placing bets with friends or family. Only 8% of respondents said they had made sports bets in person at a casino, racetrack or kiosk, and 6% reported having done so online.
The survey’s results indicate the U.S. legal sports betting industry, while growing rapidly, has plenty of room for expansion.
As of last Thursday’s kickoff to the NFL season, 31 states plus Washington D.C. offered legal sports betting, and several others will do so soon.
A record 46.6 million Americans say they plan to bet on the current NFL season, up 3% from last year, according to the American Gaming Association.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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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.