Kansas Quickly Moves to Launch Sports Betting on September 1

Gov. Laura Kelly & Kansas Lottery officials announced a soft launch period will start on Sept 1. A full launch will follow on Sept 8, the first day of the NFL season.
Kansas Quickly Moves to Launch Sports Betting on September 1
August 19, 2022

Kansas is gearing up to join the rest of the real money US sports betting states in less than two weeks.

In a swift turn of events, Kansas officials announced Thursday that four non-tribal casinos can begin accepting sports wagers in a soft launch that starts at noon on September 1.

Democratic Governor Laura Kelly announced that the land-based casinos — Boot Hill Casino & Resort, Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway, Kansas Crossing Casino, and Kansas Star Casino — could begin accepting real money sports bets both in-person and via mobile platforms starting on September 1, with an official launch on September 8.

All non-tribal casinos in Kansas are officially owned by the state and operated by the Kansas Lottery. The governor’s office said the seven tribal casinos in the state were “working to align on contracts with the State of Kansas for sports wagering. These casinos will be authorized to launch as soon as they are ready.”

In a statement, Kelly called the legalization of sports betting in KS “a common-sense solution that keeps Kansans’ money in Kansas and drives business to sporting events, casinos, restaurants, and other entertainment venues. I want to thank all our partners for working with us to get this done in time for football season.”

The NFL season kicks off on September 8.

Operators Will Receive One-Year Provisional Licenses

A soft launch before the start of the NFL season is surprising, considering the Kansas Lottery Commission (KLC) and the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission (KRGC) had just submitted temporary regulations to Attorney General Derek Schmidt last week.

Schmidt was required to approve the temporary regulations before sports betting in Kansas could commence. Neither the governor’s office nor the KLC had indicated whether Schmidt had given his approval or not. The AG’s office also did not make an announcement.

The governor’s office said operators would receive “a one-year provisional license based on past performance in other states.” The executive branch added that platforms awarded a license would be announced soon.

“There are still several regulatory and administrative hurdles that we need to get through to make this launch a reality, but we’re hopeful we can get there,” KLC Executive Director Stephen Durrell said in a statement posted on YouTube.

Some Partnerships Already Known

Under Kansas’ new gaming law, each commercial and tribal casino is allowed up the three skins for sports betting. That means there could be as many as 33 real money sportsbooks in KS.

Some partnerships between the casinos and operators have already been announced.

Commercial Casino Sportsbooks (3 max)
Boot Hill Casino & Resort Bally Bet, DraftKings
Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway Barstool, FOX Bet
Kansas Crossing Casino Caesars, PointsBet
Kansas Star Casino BetMGM, FanDuel

In May, Boot Hill’s parent, Butler National Corporation, announced that it had selected Bally Bet and DraftKings as two of its mobile sports betting partners.

Caesars Sportsbook and PointsBet formed separate partnerships with Kansas Crossing, the latter agreeing to its back in February 2020.

Penn Entertainment, formerly Penn National Gaming (PNG), owns the Hollywood casino and is likely to launch its Barstool Sportsbook there. FOX Bet also reportedly has market access in Kansas through Hollywood.

BetMGM Sportsbook and FanDuel both partnered with Boyd Gaming, which owns the Kansas Star Casino. Boyd has been a strategic partner for online casino gaming and sports betting with FanDuel since August 2018, while BetMGM has partnered with Boyd in Iowa and Louisiana.

Other operators mentioned as possible market entrants in Kansas include BetRivers, Betway, Fanatics, SI Sportsbook, Unibet, and WynnBET.

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