Could Kansas Sports Betting Regulators Announce a Launch Date This Week?

Could Kansas Sports Betting Regulators Announce a Launch Date This Week?
By Christopher Boan

It seems that the launch of Kansas sports betting might be earlier than many industry insiders expect and a possible go-live date could be announced this week.

Kansas is moving quickly to launch before — or early into — the NFL season that begins Sept. 8. State regulators approved draft regulations late last week, moving the Kansas closer to sports betting. 

State regulators are also working to license potential sportsbook operators for the launch.

One unknown is when that launch date will be, but since so much progress has been made by the state, it would not be surprising if it announced the go-live date soon, perhaps as early as this week.

The Sunflower State, which has long targeted Kansas NFL betting for the start of the regular season, could indeed hit that mark.

Industry insiders, such as former Michigan State Rep. and current Head of Government Affairs at Sportradar Brant Iden, see the Kansas sports betting market coming online this fall.   

Kansans should be ready for the rollout of sports betting, Iden said, with the market coming online in the coming months.  

"It's great to see that the Kansas Lottery and the RGC are working in tandem, very swiftly, to launch sports wagering in the state as soon as possible,” Iden said in an email to BetKansas.com. “Although no formal timeline has been announced, given that the temporary rules are now sitting with the AG's office, I am confident that we'll see bets being taken well before the legislatively mandated date of Jan 1, 2023. Assuming no major issues arise, they should be operational before Halloween." 

When Could Kansas Sports Betting Launch?

Todd Allen, who serves as the director of wagering at the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, told BetKansas.com in an email that there were no updates to share on Tuesday morning.  

On Monday, Allen said the rollout of Kansas betting apps was drawing closer by the day but declined to give a target date for wagering in Kansas.  

“We’re definitely getting closer,” Allen told BetKansas.com. “We at least have a good foundation of sports betting regulations now. We just have to work on getting those finalized, but this allows us to start working on internal controls with our lottery gaming facility managers.  

“So that allows us to expedite the process. Now everybody knows what’s going to need to be accomplished.”  

Using Arizona as a model, you can glean a bit more about how long it might take Kansas to go live this fall.  

The Grand Canyon State went through a similar rollout process last summer, with wagering in Arizona getting the green light from the legislature. It took 147 days from the time Gov. Doug Ducey signed Arizona HB 2772 into law on April 15, 2021, to the time wagering launched on Sept. 9.  

By that standard, we can assume that Kansas (if it takes the exact number of days that Arizona did) will go live on Oct. 9, which would be a Sunday.  

Hitting that date would allow Kansas sportsbooks to begin taking wagers in time for the Kansas City Chiefs’ Week 5 Monday Night Football clash against the Las Vegas Raiders on Oct. 10.  

But it seems that Kansas regulators are pushing to launch even sooner than October. And operators like DraftKings Kansas and FanDuel Kansas are offering early registration in the state.

What’s Standing Between Kansans and Sports Betting?

If Kansas is able to move faster than regulators in Arizona and get wagering online at some point in September, then Kansans can thank the KRGC, which approved more than 110 pages of regulations during its meeting on Friday.  

Those regulations ranged in scope, from what exactly constitutes a legal wager to how the state plans on enforcing its geofencing strategies.  

They also serve as a blueprint for sports betting companies as they look to roll out their products this fall.  

Getting those regulations in place means that the KRGC and Kansas Lottery can go to work on nailing down background checks and certifying equipment, which are two of the major hurdles before sports betting can go live in Kansas.  

“While the market continues to focus on a start before Jan. 1, Kansas can move much quicker and the sun, the moon, and the stars are starting to align,” said Brendan Bussmann, who has served as a partner and director of government affairs for gaming and hospitality consulting firm Global Market Advisors.  “While I don’t think we will be in a position that we are waiting to the end of the year, we are looking earlier in the football season than later.  Never underestimate the ability for a Midwest state to just find a way to get it done.

“September is aggressive but doable but October seems like a good landing spot to get everything in place. The biggest thing that Kansas needs to remember is to do a static launch and not let it drip out like Virginia and other states did.  Set a date, get most of the operators behind that date, and let's get off to the ball and move.” 

Once sports betting does launch, you can expect to see Kansas sportsbook promotions available to bettors. 

 

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Christopher Boan is a lead writer at BetKansas.com specializing in covering state issues. He covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years.

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