Big news from the Sunflower State relates to the start of NFL Training Camps. The Kansas Sports betting bill signed in mid-May by Gov. Laura Kelly went into effect on July 1, and Kelly says a launch in time for Week 1 of the NFL season is "the goal."
While Kansas sports betting will be allowed through the four state-run casinos, Kelly also said negotiations with the state's four federally-recognized tribes to enable them to amend their gaming compacts to allow sports betting are "proceeding."
Kelly made those comments at the Statehouse on June 20 during a special bill signing ceremony attended by lawmakers and casino industry representatives. Kelly refuted the notion, however, that the state was trying to poach the Kansas City Chiefs from neighboring Missouri with this bill. Consider that 80% of revenue is going towards luring a pro team to Kansas.
The operator application window opens on August 15, and Kansas sports betting is required to launch no later than Jan. 1, 2023, though all indications are it will be live either at the start of the NFL season or at some point this fall.
Approval in Kansas continues a nationwide movement that has gained further momentum in 2022 as state legislatures in all regions of the country race to try and keep sports bettors and the tax revenues they generate within their borders.
That’s certainly been the case in Kansas, which has seen residents travel to neighboring Colorado or nearby Iowa, two states where sports betting is legal, to wager on high-profile events like the Super Bowl and March Madness.
And it gives Kansas an edge over neighbor and rival Missouri, where a bill died without a vote this spring. Bettors will certainly be looking forward to not traveling anymore and using one of the Kansas betting apps instead.
The Kansas bill allows mobile and retail wagering to be overseen by the state’s lottery commission, with a minimum betting age of 21. It lets each of the state’s four existing casinos partner with three operators such as Caesars Kansas, BetMGM Kansas, and FanDuel Kansas.
Each casino can also partner with up to 50 retailers, who can offer betting kiosks. The four casinos can also request an additional "skin" for mobile betting if they partner with a professional sports team.
However, a few things have changed since the Kansas sports betting bill was signed. TheScore Bet was projected to launch in Kansas thanks to Penn National Gaming's existing agreements. But the company has pulled out of the U.S. market effective July 1, focusing solely on its native Canadian market.
Another development is that Boyd Gaming is suing the state of Kansas, the Kansas lottery, and the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission for breach of contract related to horse racing machines that will soon be available at a nearby track. The effect the lawsuit will have in the grand scheme of things is unclear. But it is worth noting that Boyd Gaming is expected to launch a BetMGM Ohio sportsbook at some point.