Chiefs in AFC Championship game means big bucks for Kansas casinos with sports betting

Last month was the first where Kansas’ share of sports gambling revenue topped $1 million.
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 12:49 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KCTV) - Hollywood Casino in Kansas City, Kansas, is gearing up for a big weekend.

Serious sports gamblers don’t bet on loyalty. But that’s not the only audience available for the first year of legal sports betting in the state of Kansas.

Every month since the betting began in September, revenue has grown. Last month was the first where the state’s share of sports gambling revenue topped $1 million.

Gary Emanuel and his girlfriend came to Hollywood Casino from Columbia, Missouri, Tuesday wearing a Chiefs sweatshirt and a Mizzou ballcap.

They already placed a bet on the Tigers to beat Ole Miss in Tuesday night’s basketball game. The outcome of that would inform how much he’ll wager on the Chiefs.

“Let’s just spend a little money on Missouri and then double down on one-and-a-half-leg Mr. Mahomes,” said Emanuel.

The lounge alongside the sportsbook counter was quiet Tuesday night, but sportsbook manager Tanner Rome expects it to explode on Sunday.

“Definitely this weekend will probably take over for the biggest day and then hopefully, the Super Bowl as well,” Rome predicted.

Speaking of the Super Bowl, remember that very first bet here from Governor Laura Kelly on the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl?

The odds then were 10-to-1, which means a $150 payout for her if they make it. With the contenders now whittled down, the odds have changed dramatically.

“They’re +285, so a little under three to one,” said Rome. “So, her bet now, if she made the same wager, would pay out somewhere around 30 to 40 bucks.”

He said he hasn’t yet placed his bet on the Chiefs to win the AFC Championship despite their recent shift to underdog status. But Gary Emanuel planned to hop on it as soon as the basketball buzzer sounds. He’s convinced Mahomes and his crew are motivated.

“You know, that’s a great way to take a 0 and 3 three record is to say I beat you bummed up, on the bum leg, and I thought that is a recipe of good mouthwash to get that taste out of your mouth,” Emanuel said.

The bar right by the sportsbook counter is relatively small, but not to worry. They’ll be opening the larger sports bar upstairs, and there are betting kiosks up there, too.

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