A major hurdle in the rollout process of sports betting in Kansas has been cleared by the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.
The commission voted on Friday to approve the set of draft regulations for sports betting at the meeting, according to Todd Allen, who serves as the KRGC’s director of wagering.
Those regulations range 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.
Allen told BetKansas.com on Monday that the commission was able to approve the regulations with a few amendments tacked on during their Friday meeting, meaning the rollout for wagering in the Sunflower State is on the horizon.
While Allen did not give a specific target date for Kansas betting apps to launch, he did say that progress is being made, as the KRGC and Kansas Lottery knock out the checklist items that need to be completed before bets can be placed.
“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.”
Where Kansas Sports Betting Stands Right Now
Allen said regulators from the two Kansas agencies tasked with overseeing the rollout of wagering in the state now must finish a few checklist items, such as doing background checks and certifying equipment, so wagers can be placed in the state.
He said he’s confident that operators will be able to launch this fall in time for NFL betting in Kansas, meaning Kansans will be able to bet on the Kansas City Chiefs and other NFL teams at some point this season. You can even get Patrick Mahomes MVP odds from sportsbooks.
The draft regulations approved by the KRGC now go to the Kansas Attorney General’s office for approval, Allen said, before winding up with the Kansas Secretary of State’s office.
Once the regulations are approved by those two agencies, they’ll become published to the general public.
Allen called Friday’s approval by the KRGC a “major hurdle that we got over,” which should give Kansas bettors reason to be optimistic as the NFL season fast approaches.
“There was big progress on Friday, and we’re excited that we’re getting close to where we can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Allen said.
FanDuel Kansas and DraftKings Kansas have already begun pre-registration for bettors in the state.
What’s Left for Kansas Sports Betting Regulators?
Allen said the remaining checklist items for regulators from the lottery and KRGC include items like having the lottery approve contracts with lottery gaming facility managers.
After that, regulators from the KRGC will finish their background checks, which allows them to provide a provisional sports betting license to prospective operators, Allen said.
Once that’s completed, the lottery will issue contracts and equipment checks with the platforms themselves to allow them to provide sports betting services in the state.
Then all that remains in the way of sports betting launching in Kansas are a few minor regulatory steps, but most of the major hurdles have been cleared, according to Allen.
When asked what his parting shot would be for Kansans, Allen said that the state’s market is closer than ever to coming online, and that regulators are working their hardest to ensure a timely launch date for the Sunflower State.
"I would just want to let the patrons know that even though it hasn't been very long since the law came about it on July 1 — and it probably seems like it's been forever — I just want to let them know that we're trying to make sure things are done right, so that there's a good product put out there for the patrons and that we uphold this integrity of sports wagering,” Allen said. “But that being said, I feel like we're finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And we're getting close to being able to have sports wagering here in the state of Kansas."
Expect there to be a plethora of Kansas sportsbook promotions when the state does launch.