WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — It’s an important weekend in the NFL to determine who will play in the Superbowl. This is the first season that Kansan can bet on matches.
Kansas officials have pushed to launch sports betting in September 2022 ahead of the football season. We’re doing a little better than what our projections said we were going to do at this point,” said Cory Thone, public information officer for the Kansas lottery.
With that comes an increase in those seeking help with gambling addiction.
“We noticed, according to helpline statistics, that there was a 9.5 percent increase in calls between April and December of last year,” said Stephenie Roberts, chair of the South Central of Kansas Problem Gambling Task Force. .
Roberts says that while the resources are out there, many are unaware of them.
“This is a new thing coming. There should have been preemptive ads out there. The only publicity that comes out comes from the small budgets the task force has received from grants,” she explained.
In its first four months, Sunflower State earned over $2 million in revenue.
“The first $750,000 goes to the white-collar crime fund. After that, of the money that is transferred to the state, 80% goes to attracting a professional sports team to the Kansas fund, 18% goes to the state general fund, and then 2% goes to problem gambling initiatives . explained.
“He gets out too much before he actually gets into problem gambling services,” Roberts said.
Roberts says some lawmakers are working to change how they distribute the funds.
“You know, there is money out there. It just needs to be assigned more appropriately. So that helps keep this from becoming a statewide issue,” she said.
The task force chair says it’s important to only spend what you can afford to lose.
If you or someone else needs help, you can contact the Problem Gambling Helpline at 800-522-4700.