TOPEKA, Kan. — The Kansas Lottery Commission had their first meeting Wednesday since sports betting’s gone live. The commissioners thanked the staff for the hard work they’ve put in to getting sports betting going.
“The very short timeline that they turned this in has been very impressive,” Chairwoman Catherine Moyer said in an interview with FOX4 Wednesday. “Kudos to them for a job very well done.”
Moyer and the rest of the commissioners got a brief report from staff on how things are going so far.
“I’ve been with the lottery for almost 15 years,” Executive Director Stephen Durrell said Wednesday. “This is far and away, the most interest in something that we’ve done, people have had.”
Durell said he does not have any revenue expectations for the year because it’s still way too early to tell.
“It’s very popular so far. I think that I’ll be very curious to see how much of a percentage of the population overall signs up for it in the end,” Durrell continued. “Right now it certainly seems like in the first six days, it’s been working pretty well.”
Finance Director Matthew Schwartz says he may not know how good the revenue numbers are until April of next year. Jokingly, he said if Missouri doesn’t legalize sports betting, the Kansas Lottery’s revenue numbers will be good. On a serious note, Moyer said Missouri doing that would likely have a big impact on their numbers.
“There’s obviously a pretty big portion of Kansas’ population that lives close to the Missouri border, or frankly Missouri folks betting in Kansas especially on the Chiefs and the Royals,” Moyer said. “So, I do think that if Missouri institutes gaming, sports waging specifically, that it will impact the revenue.”
The full launch of sports betting is Thursday, just in time for the first regular season game of the NFL. The first week of sports betting was known as a ‘soft launch,’ but people in the state could still bet on games.
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.
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