Kansas online sports betting goes live

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Kansas’ first legal online sportsbooks started taking bets at noon local time Thursday, launching regulated sports betting in another US jurisdiction.

DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars, Barstool and PointsBet were all poised to go live Thursday in Kansas, the state’s “soft” launch. The sportsbooks are set to have a full launch with their complete product offerings ahead of the NFL season opener Sept. 8.

Thursday’s launch completes the quickest turnaround from legalization bill signing to first bet of any of the more than 20 jurisdictions with legal online sports wagering. Kansas completed the process in a little over three months while most states have taken six months or longer.

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

Kansas regulators quickly approved sports betting rules and other licensing requirements, allowing for the speedy launch. Regulators achieved their goal of a go-live date before the upcoming NFL season, perenially sportsbooks’ most lucrative time of the year.

Kansas’ turnaround was boosted by the state’s unique gaming regulatory structure. All four of the state’s commercial casinos are technically extensions of the state lottery, creating a centralized infrastructure that helped expedite the regulatory implementation process.

Tribal casinos are also working to align on contracts with the State of Kansas for sports wagering, according to a state lottery press release. These casinos will be authorized to launch “as soon as they are ready.”

“This announcement represents a lot of hard work and collaboration between the Kansas Lottery, the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, our casino and tribal partners,” said Stephen Durrell, executive director of the Kansas Lottery, in a statement announcing the launch. “The process to bring this to fruition has moved at an unbelievable pace.

“We are excited to be bringing sports betting to Kansas players and adding more fun and exciting play options to the Sunflower State.”

Each of the four casinos are managed by third-party operators. Kansas’ sports betting bill allows each casino operator to then partner with up to three online sportsbooks.

Kansas Lottery executive director Stephen Durrell: “The process to bring this to fruition has moved at an unbelievable pace.

Penn Entertainment manages Hollywood Casino in Kansas City and used its first skin for its online Barstool Sportsbook. Penn also expects to open a retail Barstool book at its property.

Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane will have both in-person sportsbook and mobile sports betting available through FanDuel, the US market share leader by gross gaming revenue. Like Hollywood Casino, Kansas Star has not announced a second skin partner, but operator Boyd Gaming could use it for its eponymous sportsbook.

Dodge City’s Boot Hill Casino and Resort partner DraftKings launched its mobile sportsbook Thursday with the opening of its in-person DraftKings sportsbook to be announced at a later date. Boot Hill is partnering with DraftKings-owned Golden Nugget for a second online sportsbook skin, though there is no launch timeline for the platform. It is set to partner with Bally Bet for a third, though their is likewise no launch timeline.

Kansas Crossing Casino in Pittsburg will offer mobile sports betting through BetMGM, Caesars, and PointsBet, all of which launched Thursday. The casino has not yet announced a partner or launch date for its retail sportsbook.

With six online sportsbooks live and two more pending, that leaves up to four more potential online sportsbooks that could enter the state.

About the author

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Ryan Butler

Ryan is a veteran sports betting and iGaming regulation and breaking news journalist based in the US. A two-time Associated Press Sports Editors award winner, he has reported on sports and politics since 2012. He has covered the gaming industry since 2018. Ryan graduated from the University of Florida with a major in Journalism and a minor in Sport Management.

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