KANSAS CITY, Kan. (WDAF) — The Kansas City Chiefs’ return to the Super Bowl has local sports fans excited for another shot at the Lombardi Trophy.
Meanwhile, bars and restaurants in Kansas are excited to give patrons another shot to enjoy the game while placing bets on the big game.
“Since it’s passed, we’ve had people directly come into our bar, and I’m sure other Kansas bars, for the sole reason to have a couple drinks while they make sports bets,” said Fat Matt’s Vortex co-owner Sam Houze.
It’s why he’s thrilled that Kansas lawmakers allowed people in the state to place their wagers right as the NFL season started.
He said it’s drawn bettors to Fat Matt’s Vortex when they open at 10 a.m. to get their bets in before going about their day. When those patrons stick around, it means extra business at the bar.
“It makes it more interesting to know which customers might have money on different games,” Houze said.
A few miles away, Tin Roof general manager Josh Boor is watching that extra business from afar. His bar is less than a mile from the state line, making it relatively easier for customers to place their wagers somewhere else.
“With Kansas rolling [sports betting] out not long ago, it seems like a lot of business went over the state line,” Boor said.
That’s why he’s waiting for Missouri lawmakers to follow Kansas’ lead and legalize sports betting. There are a few proposals for how to do it, but past efforts have gotten hung up on how to allow certain types of gaming and the specifics around how much the state would get from it.
Until then, Boor can only wait for lawmakers to give patrons one more reason to stay a little longer in Missouri.
“For people to have a little more interest or rooting factor in one extra game, stay a little bit long, order another appetizer, order another drink, we think it’s something that will definitely build business,” Boor said.
The Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association said there isn’t enough data to know for sure what impact sports betting has had on the industry. Some businesses say they might see a small bump, others aren’t so sure.
The association adds that inflation makes it hard to figure out how much more business they might be doing because most items got more expensive.