What’s Next for Kansas Sportsbooks Before the Sept. 1 Launch Date?

What’s Next for Kansas Sportsbooks Before the Sept. 1 Launch Date?
By Christopher Boan

Now that we know when Kansas sportsbooks launch, the next question on many Kansans’ minds is what happens next. 

The best Kansas sportsbooks are scheduled to begin taking wagers on Sept. 1, in what Kansas Lottery Executive Director Stephen Durrell termed a “soft launch,” before the market fully comes online on Sept. 8. 

That official opening date happens to coincide with the first game of the NFL regular season, when the Buffalo Bills and L.A. Rams meet in Inglewood, California. 

The Kansas Lottery and Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, which are tasked with overseeing the rollout of Kansas betting apps in the state, must resolve any remaining issues to get wagering online in September. 

Todd Allen, director of wagering for the KRGC, said in an email Friday to BetKansas.com that the regulatory agency has several important items to work on to meet the September launch date. 

“There are a few important things that the KRGC will be working on,” Allen said. “First will be, the background certifications of the Interactive Sports Wagering Platform providers. We will also be making sure that equipment is tested to the technical standards required.  The KRGC is also working with our Lottery gaming facilities to get their Internal Controls in place.  Those are a few of the major things that will still need to be accomplished on the KRGC side.” 

Members of the Kansas Lottery, meanwhile, have to vet online and retail operators, and prospective sports partnerships, before granting approval. A betting catalog needs to be  established and rules set on how operators offer free bets and use Kansas sports betting bonuses to gain new users in the state. 

BetMGM Pre-Registration Kansas Sportsbook Offer

BetMGM became the third Kansas sportsbook operator to offer a pre-live deal to users in the state. 

The BetMGM Kansas bonus code offer includes $200 in free bets with no deposit required upon signing up for an account as an acquisition offer. 

BetMGM users in Kansas can register but cannot deposit or place their first bet until Kansas sports betting officially goes live in September. 

The other deal that BetMGM is offering in Kansas is their “Risk-Free $1,000” offer, which cannot be used in conjunction with the other pre-live offering. 

DraftKings Sportsbook Kansas and FanDuel Sportsbook Kansas are also have pre-registration offers.

You will likely see Caesars Sportsbook Kansas promo code offers before launch, also.

Attorney General Weighs In On Kansas Sportsbook Regulations

The other news to drop regarding sports betting in Kansas on Thursday was the state’s Attorney General’s Office identifying “significant legal issues” with the lottery’s proposed sports betting regulations. 

“Our initial review has identified significant legal issues with the agency’s proposed regulations,” said John Milburn, a spokesman for Attorney General Derek Schmidt, in a statement to FOX4 Thursday. 

Milburn said that the agency has sent its thoughts on the proposed wagering rules to the lottery, with an eye on fixing them as soon as they can be amended. 

“Within days, we will be providing our formal feedback to Lottery and giving them the opportunity to correct the legal deficiencies,” the statement said. “We intend to approve these regulations as soon as the agency fixes the legal problems in their initial version. Our initial review of the proposed regulations from KRGC has begun and is also being expedited.” 

Cory Thone, director of social media/public information officer for the Kansas Lottery, said the lottery “has had almost all of its rules and regulations approved by the Attorney General’s Office since the Lottery began over 35 years ago.”

“The Lottery has had an excellent working relationship with the Attorney General’s Office and there is always an exchange of ideas and legal theories when it comes to rule and regulation approval,” Thone said in a statement. “This is an ordinary course of business with the Lottery and The Attorney General’s office, and the Lottery is confident that any issues the Attorney General has potentially identified will be worked out very quickly. Given our past experiences in working with the Attorney General’s Office, at this point we still believe we will make the September 1 soft launch date.”

Who Will Partner in Kansas Sportsbook Scene ?

Though no Kansas sportsbooks were officially announced on Thursday, we can glean a lot of information about partnerships from previous announcements from the four state-owned casinos. 

Dodge City’s Boot Hill Casino has announced pacts with DraftKings Sportsbook Kansas and BallyBet  for its future sports betting needs. 

Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway has already announced it will use two of their three sports betting skins to partner with Barstool Sportsbook and FoxBet. Barstool’s primary owner is Penn Entertainment (which also owns Hollywood Casino). 

Pittsburg’s Kansas Crossing Casino has already announced that it will partner with Caesars Sportsbook and PointsBet once the state goes live. Mulvane’s Kansas Star Casino will partner with BetMGM Kansas and FanDuel Sportsbook Kansas

Additionally, Kansas’ tribal casinos will be able to offer sports betting once their federal gaming compacts are amended by the U.S. Department of the Interior and approved by regulators in Kansas.   

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

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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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