Thursday’s Kansas Sports Betting Launch ‘Culmination of Months and Months of Hard Work’

Thursday’s Kansas Sports Betting Launch ‘Culmination of Months and Months of Hard Work’
By Christopher Boan
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

It appears all six of the licensed Kansas betting apps will be ready to accept wagers in some form at noon Central time Thursday, when the state’s sports betting scene goes live.  

PointsBet Kansas reiterated Tuesday it would start taking wagers Thursday. PointsBet signed a partnership with Kansas Crossing Casino more than two years before sports betting legislation passed in the state.

PointsBet was one of six operators approved by the Kansas Lottery for launch Thursday. The list of six was announced last week.

The best Kansas sportsbooks are set to take flight in a Sept. 1 “soft launch,” with the stated goal of having the state’s marketplace ready to roll in earnest come the NFL kickoff on Sept. 8.

Of Kansas’ four state-owned casinos, only Boot Hill Casino of Dodge City and Kansas Crossing Casino in Pittsburg have announced their full allotment of three sports betting partners. And only Kansas Crossing’s trio of BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook and PointsBet will be live Thursday.

Once betting does go live in the state, BetKansas.com will have all the Kansas sportsbook promotions.

The state’s “soft launch” is meant to allow operators time work out any kinks in their systems before the start of the NFL season on Sept. 8, according to Cory Thone, who serves as the public information officer for the Kansas Lottery.

“The September 1 “soft launch” is just a way to give our casino partners and their platforms a chance to get up and running, start taking bets, etc., before the official start of the professional football season,” Thone told BetKansas.com. “It just adds some runway to make sure everything is safe, secure, and functional for our players.

“It’s just like when a new business opens a week before their grand opening, giving them a chance to operate in a live environment while still having time to adjust and adapt to any unforeseen issues.” 

Kansas Lottery Executive Director Stephen Durrell told BetKansas.com that Thursday’s “soft opening” represents a banner day for the Sunflower State, accomplishing a feat years in the making.

“This announcement is a culmination of months and months of hard work between the Lottery, the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, and our casino partners,” Durrell said. “We are thrilled to be taking this big step forward and are counting down the days for the beginning of sports betting in Kansas.”

Who’s Going Live in Kansas on Sept. 1?

Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway

  • Barstool Sportsbook*

Kansas Star Casino

  • FanDuel Sportsbook*

Boot Hill Casino

  • DraftKings Sportsbook**
  • Golden Nugget***
  • Bally Bet***

Kansas Crossing Casino

  • BetMGM**
  • Caesars Sportsbook**
  • PointsBet**

Sporting Kansas City

  • Partner TBA

* — Retail and mobile sportsbook will launch Sept. 1.
** — Mobile sportsbook will launch Sept. 1.
*** — Has announced partnership with casino, but has yet to be approved by Kansas Lottery.

What Kansas Sportsbooks Say About Thursday’s Launch

PointsBet’s launch announcement Tuesday highlighted the importance of beginning operations in time for the start of the NFL season as being key in Kansas.

“We are excited to be launching on the starting line and having our outstanding sportsbook product available to the people of Kansas from Day 1,” PointsBet Group CEO and Managing Director Sam Swanell said in a company press release. “With NFL season kicking off on Sept. 9 the timing is perfect to showcase our NFL in-play betting capabilities in particular.”

FanDuel Sportsbook Kansas, meanwhile, sees its partnership with Boyd Gaming’s Kansas Star Casino as a way to build on its longstanding partnership with the Nevada sports betting stalwart in a fresh marketplace.

“FanDuel and Boyd Gaming are looking forward to bringing America’s No. 1 sportsbook to the state of Kansas,” FanDuel Director of Publicity Kevin Hennessy told BetKansas.com via email. “Pending final regulatory approvals, we plan to launch the online FanDuel Sportsbook statewide, and open a retail FanDuel Sportsbook at Kansas Star Casino. Customers can download the FanDuel Sportsbook app early in Kansas for iOS and Android and receive $100 in free bets when we are live.”

Elisa Richardson, who serves as the director of communications at BetMGM, said the company has high hopes for its operation in the Sunflower State.

The current BetMGM Kansas bonus code offer includes $200 in free bets with no deposit required upon signing up.

“Sept. 1 will technically be a “soft launch” date for Kansas sports betting, with the official day being Sept. 8, when online operators will take bets on all sports,” Richardson said in an email to BetKansas.com. “On Friday, the Kansas Lottery approved six operators to take online bets on Sept. 1, with BetMGM being one. So, we’re actively gearing up for a Sept. 1 soft launch.” 

Like PointsBet and BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook is partnered with Kansas Crossing Casino. There will be a Caesars Sportsbook Kansas promo code for customers who log on Thursday.

DraftKings and its subsidiary Golden Nugget Online are both partnered with Boot Hill Casino, along with Bally Bet KS. But only DraftKings will be going live Thursday.

"We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to deliver our award-wining products to Kansas sports fans for the 2022 NFL and college football seasons," said Matt Kalish, DraftKings Co-Founder and President, DraftKings North America, in a press release Wednesday. “It’s an especially exhilarating time of year, and we are excited for eligible Kansans to be able to get in on all the action through DraftKings’ seamless and responsible sports betting experience.”

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Contributors

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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