Kansas Leaves Missouri In The Dust, Eyes Fall Launch Date For Sports Betting

Written By Darren Cooper on June 24, 2022 - Last Updated on June 30, 2022
Foundation In Kansas For Sports Betting To Go Live In Fall

Ohio is taking it slow, but Kansas sports betting has gone from written to signed and should be delivered by the fall.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed the sports betting bill and, in comments after the ceremony, said that everything should be ready to go in a few months.

Kelly did not give an exact date. However, the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission will present its initial set of rules for the application process on July 22.

Ohio is in the midst of its application process to launch sports betting starting Jan. 1, 2023. If you’re looking for a key date in Kansas, the Kansas City Chiefs open up their season against Arizona on Sept. 11.

Speaking of the Kansas Chiefs

Kansas’ journey to sports betting legalization was marked by two interesting things: one was the desire to beat Missouri at getting it done first.

Kansas and Missouri natives love a good feud.

Mission accomplished. Missouri’s sports betting bill never got approved.

The second was the fact that part of Kansas’ tax revenue off sports betting was to be directed into a fund to build a professional stadium for a sports team, with speculation centering on a new stadium for the Chiefs, perhaps to get them to move over from the Missouri side.

Operators will pay a 10% handle tax to the state.

Kelly put the kibosh on such talk noting (correctly) that the proceeds from sports betting that Kansas would receive would not come close to being able to construct a new stadium.

“We’re not going to be balancing the budget on the revenues coming in from sports betting, but every little bit helps,” Kelly said.

“I have never approached the Chiefs, nor has anybody in my administration.”

That may not be true. Maybe the Chiefs approached Kelly… but that’s what they call plausible deniability in politics.

Where will sports betting be legal in Kansas?

Kansas residents over the age of 21 will be able to make in-person bets at up to 50 retail locations alongside the state’s four commercial casinos: Kansas Star Casino, Boot Hill Casino and Resort, Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway, and the Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel.

Kansas also has the Golden Eagle, a tribal gaming venue. Tribes will be allowed to get a skin on sports betting provided they agree to a new or updated gaming compact.

The activity will be regulated by the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission in association with the Kansas Lottery.

In addition to professional sports teams like the Chiefs, Sporting KC of MLS, and Kansas City Royals, Kansas also has a deep passion for college basketball and the Kansas Jayhawks. Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk, anyone?

Lawsuit looms over Kansas sports betting

Immediately after the legislation was signed, Boyd Gaming filed a lawsuit against the state, the Kansas Lottery, and the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, claiming the state can’t put historical horse racing machines at Wichita Greyhound Park in the state.

Boyd, which operates the Kansas Star, believes that historical horse racing machines are too similar to slot machines and Kansas is violating its contract.

Historical Horse Racing machines or HHRs have a slot machine format, but the results are related to past results of previous horse races.

Boyd is saying that if Kansas wants to put slot games that are like the ones at the Kansas City Star, the state must pay the company $25 million.

Photo by Shutterstock.com
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Darren Cooper

Darren Cooper is a staff writer for PlayUSA. He’s been a sports writer in the Northeast since 1998 and developed a keen interest in covering the gaming, casino and sports betting industry and has written for multiple additional Play state sites. He always bets responsibly although his grandfather did have a secret system for betting on the ponies at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans.

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