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Kansas sports betting remains set for September launch despite legal issues

Neil Roarty profile picture
Updated 1 month ago on
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Kansas has announced that the four state-owned casinos will begin taking both retail and mobile wagers on September 1st, during a soft-launch period. This comes a week before the beginning of the next NFL season, and a week before KS believes the sportsbook will leave soft-launch and operate fully, after further regulatory updates.

Kansas Lottery Executive Director Stephen Durrell once more emphasized that the state has “several regulatory and administrative hurdles” to get through in order to “make this launch a reality”.

Kansas is to operate under a different model from most states with legalized sports betting – given all commercial gaming operations in Kansas are technically owned by the state and operated by Kansas Lottery.

What are the regulations?

Under provisional regulations the following applies:

  • Each casino can partner with up to 3 mobile sportsbooks/skins
  • Each casino can install up to 50 marketing agreements with partners for retail kiosks at locations across the state
  • 20% of the aforementioned agreements must be with fraternal or veterans organizations
  • The state’s soccer team Kansas City and the speedway can also host sports wagering sites at their facilities

Unlike in CA, opposition from Tribal casinos has not been as staunch. The state’s four tribal casinos are in the process of amending gaming compacts to include sports betting, and all four will soon start to offer sports betting on parity with the state-owned commercial properties.

Who’s partnered with who?

The initial launches and casino/operator combinations are as follows:

  • Boot Hill Casino will launch with: Bally Bet and DraftKings
  • Boyd Gaming’s Kansas Star Casino will launch with: FanDuel and BetMGM
  • Hollywood Casino will launch with: Barstool Sports and FOX Bet
  • Kansas Crossing will launch with: PointsBet and Caesars Entertainment

The state tax will be 10% on gross sports betting revenues, which KS anticipates will return US$5m annually.

There is currently no discussion about igaming in the state, although the legalization of sports betting may provide the state with some momentum should they wish to look at it. The big name operators are all in the state, and with it set to launch before the NFL season starts, it’s set up to achieve what’s desired.

As mentioned prior, there are still some legal issues that remain with the overall legislation – and should these not be amended and approved by the attorney general as soon as possible, the launch may disappointingly be delayed.

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Neil Roarty is a gambling industry veteran with over 15 years experience writing and editing in both Europe and North America. He is a regular speaker at gambling conferences and appears as an author in many industry publications.

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