While Regulators Work on Kansas Sports Betting Rules, Casinos Negotiate with Partners

While Regulators Work on Kansas Sports Betting Rules, Casinos Negotiate with Partners
By Christopher Boan
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

The rollout of Kansas online betting appears set to unfold long before the state’s Jan. 1 deadline.

And while the Kansas Lottery and Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission are working to get rules in place with hopes of launching during football season, The Kansas casinos in the state, notably four of the casinos are working on deals with betting operators.

Boot Hill Casino announced in mid May it would have Bally Bet Kansas and DraftKings Sportsbook Kansas mobile betting apps.

Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway announced its first partnership in late July with Barstool Sportsbook Kansas. Hollywood Casino is owned by Penn National Gaming, which also has an ownership interest in Barstool Sportsbook.

Hollywood Casino is hoping its retail Barstool Sportsbook location will be able to take bets in time for the Sept. 11 NASCAR race at the track — which is also the same weekend as the opening of the NFL season. 

Each licensee is allowed to partner with operators to create up to three Kansas sports betting apps, meaning we’ll likely see many more pacts being announced over the next few weeks.  

On a recent company earnings call, Keith Smith, who serves as the president and CEO of Boyd Gaming (manager of Kansas Star Casino), said the company is in planning to open FanDuel Sportsbook Kansas.

“Kansas and Ohio recently passed sports betting legislation, and with our partner FanDuel we plan to offer retail and mobile sports betting in both states,” Smith said. “Subject to regulatory approvals, we expect to launch sports betting in Kansas in the fall and Ohio around the first of the year, expanding our FanDuel partnership to eight of our nine regional states.”

More than two years before sports betting became legal in the state, in January 2020, Kansas Crossing Casino in Pittsburg announced a deal to make PointsBet Kansas its primary retail and mobile sports betting partner.

Kansas Sports Betting Launch Date Still Unknown

For Todd Allen, who serves as the director of wagering for the KRGC, the rollout of sports betting in Kansas has followed course.

Allen told BetKansas.com in an exclusive interview on July 25 the agency, which regulates the rollout of sports betting in partnership with the Kansas Lottery, isn’t sure they’ll be able to get everything in order to start sports betting Sept. 8 (when the NFL season kicks off).

He did say both agencies are working as hard as they can to get operators vetted so sports betting in Kansas can launch in a timely fashion, but there are a lot of steps between now and then.

“There are just a lot of other processes that have to take place before we can get up and running. I don’t know where the Kansas Lottery is, but they have to finalize contracts with our lottery gaming facility managers,” Allen said.

“… So, all those interactive sports wagering platforms, all the equipment kiosks, all that'll have to go through independent test labs and have letters certifying that the equipment’s ready to go.” 

Kansas Lottery Executive Director Stephen Durrell has said the exact start date of sports betting is less important than making sure the state’s market is ready to flourish on Day 1.

Durrell told BetKansas.com in mid-July the agency’s main goal is making sure both they and the KRGC check all their boxes so Kansans can have a wagering system they can be proud of.  

“It's not our intent to launch anything quickly just to launch it,” Durrell told BetKansas.com. “We want to make sure that [sports betting] is operational and as bug free as we can, because we don't want to launch something that is sticky in some way, and that doesn't allow our players to have the best opportunity or the most enjoyable experience that they can.”

When wagering does launch in the state, BetKansas.com will keep you updated on Kansas sportsbook promotions.

Update: DraftKings Kansas has solidified its license in the state. On August 8, a DraftKings Kansas promo for pre-registration was announced. The offer comes in the form of a $100 free bet. 

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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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