Indiana Market Thriving While Kansas Gets Settled

kansas jayhawks fans celebrate ncaa football
Kansas Jayhawks fans cheer for their team against the TCU Horned Frogs in the second half at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. Ed Zurga/Getty Images/AFP

A tale of two states at the opposite end of the legal sports betting market as September revenue numbers have come in. Indiana continues to thrive while Kansas is getting settled in after recently launching.

Indiana has been one of the top markets in the post-PASPA era as Kansas continues to develop its rules.

Indiana Firmly In Top Ten

With September numbers in, Indiana has become the 6th state in the post-PASPA era to surpass $9 billion in sports betting handle. Indiana has a thriving legal sports betting market with a host of operators, as well as a sports-hungry customer base.

Located right in the heart of “Big Ten country”, Indiana has long been a hotbed for sports in the U.S. 

Record-Setting Month In Indiana

According to the Indiana Gaming Commission, Indiana set a record for sports wagering revenue for a month. September saw Indiana earn $51.2 million in sports betting revenue. The previous high for Indiana was $47.7 million, which was set last November. This marks the third occasion that Indiana has topped the $40 million dollar mark in a month since launching.  
 
The state also posted the highest hold percentage since mobile wagering launched. The 13.4% hold is the highest percentage posted since September 2019, when the hold was 23.4%. At the time, retail sports betting was the only option available in Indiana.  
 
It’s no coincidence that Indiana posted record numbers at this time of the year. With the NFL and college football underway, this time of the year is known as the high season in the sports betting industry.


Kansas Just Getting Warmed Up

On September 1st, Kansas had a soft launch of their legal sports betting market. A soft launch is usually necessary while lawmakers continue to hash out the rules and regulations for the market. Not all states are created equal, and there are several factors that Kansas will have to consider.  
 
While Indiana has a thriving market, they have several things that contribute to those numbers that Kansas does not. The most obvious is the lack of professional sports teams in Kansas. The Indiana Pacers of the NBA and the Indianapolis Colts of the NFL have loyal fanbases that span generations.

The state of Kansas is a hotbed for college basketball and one of the most successful programs in the country, but they can’t compete with the NFL and NBA. Not only on a financial level but also universities aren’t in a position to lobby for the legalization of sports betting.  
 
Several professional franchises already have deals with sportsbook operators, so the playing field in Indiana and most of the country is quite different from the scene in Kansas.  

Kansas Posts Decent Early Returns

The Kansas Lottery Commission revealed that the state posted $1.29 million in revenue for September. That number allowed the state to collect $129,000 in taxable revenue. Due to it being a soft launch, the state is allowing operators to deduct promotional credits as revenue for tax purposes.

Mobile is Where the Money Is

One thing that Kansas did get right with their soft launch, was having mobile betting as an option. Every state in the top ten in terms of overall handle has had upwards of 80% of that money come from mobile betting.  
 
Kansas is no different with over 95% of their sports betting handle coming from mobile. There are 4 commercial casinos in Kansas and each of them is allowed to have 3 skins each from mobile operators.

There is a lot of potential for the handle to rise significantly if Kansas does eventually have 6 operators. Sports betting fans will certainly benefit as with more options come better prices for the market. At the moment there are 6 operators that have launched in Kansas. 


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