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Kansas Retail Sportsbooks Take Super Beating In February


Another Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl victory, another sacking of Kansas retail sportsbooks by the betting public.

The Kansas Lottery reported more than $1.7 million in gross sports betting revenue losses accrued by the state’s four retail sportsbooks for February on Thursday, thanks in large part to the Kansas City Chiefs repeating as Super Bowl champions.

That figure represents a slight improvement from 2023, when three of the four sportsbooks finished in the red and paid out $1.8 million above the $8.2 million handle generated overall as part of losing $14.5 million on the Super Bowl itself. The Kansas Lottery did not offer specific Super Bowl-related numbers, but the quartet had a 12.3% increase in handle to $9.2 million, which in turn dropped the hold to a still-woeful minus-18.8% from minus-22.2% in 2023.

When including wagering via sports betting apps, the six mobile operators lifted the overall gross revenue total to $8.5 million. That is fourth worst in 18 months of wagering in Kansas and lowest since collecting $7.7 million in winnings last August.

Handle was up 4.6% year-over-year to $203 million, the sixth consecutive month over $200 million. The 4.2% hold on gross revenue was the second lowest in state history, ahead of only the previous February, and it is the lowest hold reported nationwide among the 36 monthly reports furnished by states with commercial wagering to date in 2024.

Hollywood Kansas absorbs seven-figure loss

Hollywood Kansas has been the dominant retail sportsbook in the Sunflower State since launching in late 2022, so the PENN Entertainment-owned venue has the largest swings in terms of wins and losses. This was the second straight February it was saddled with a seven-figure loss as bettors came out nearly $1.6 million ahead on $6.5 million worth of accepted bets, resulting in a minus-24.1% hold.

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That was $618,000 better than last year, while handle increased 8.3% to $6.5 million and accounted for 71% of the total retail handle. Kansas Star totaled $87,900 in losses against $1.3 million worth of wagers while posting a minus-6.9% win rate.

Boot Hill — the only retail book to come out ahead in 2023 with a paltry $2,463 in winnings — absorbed a $46,700 loss with a minus-7.6% hold; and bettors at Kansas Crossing came out with $25,200 on top of the $774,800 worth of action.

DraftKings still tops in handle and revenue… and promos

Five of the six mobile operators came out ahead for February, with only PointsBet able to surpass the industry-standard 7% hold. DraftKings took top honors for revenue and handle with nearly $6 million in the former and $87.7 million in the latter, good for a 6.8% hold.

The mobile titan also accounted for nearly half the $7.9 million promotional outlay among the sextet, offering $3.9 million in promotional bonuses and credits. That was up 25.6% from February 2023 and marked the sixth consecutive month DraftKings’ spend topped $3 million.

FanDuel was a clear-cut second, winning $3.4 million in gross revenue from $58.5 million worth of bets to fashion a 5.7% hold. Its promo spend was close to $2 million for a second consecutive year, but gross revenue increased 56.1% year-over-year.

ESPN BET‘s handle of $14.7 million was 27.8% lower than January, but it still exceeded its first-year target of 7% market share at 7.6%. It had a second consecutive sub-3% hold on gross revenue, winning $385,900. Its promotional spend ticked higher in February to $733,600, lifting its overall outlay since November to $10.1 million.

BetMGM recaptured the No. 3 spot for handle at $20.2 million and had a far better February than the 2023 version even while winning just $391,700 and posting a sub-2% hold. It took a $1.5 million loss last year when the Chiefs beat the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII, and BetMGM’s promotional spend this year jumped 5% to $1.1 million.

Caesars was the only mobile operator to post a gross revenue loss for February as bettors made out with $35,748 in addition to their $11.2 million handle. PointsBet’s 7.8% hold came against $1.6 million handle, resulting in $52,700 in winnings.

Three of the six operators finished February with negative adjusted gross revenue and did not pay any state taxes. Three of the four retail operators did likewise as the inflow into coffers totaled $305,494 for the month.

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