Editor’s note: Story is updated to include a press release from Kanas Gov. Laura Kelly and Kansas City Star story about AG approval of regulations.
When the Kansas City Chiefs open the 2022 NFL regular season, Kansans will have a chance to get in their wagers on how the team will fare. On Thursday, the state office announced that legal Kansas sports betting will kick off on Sept. 1, and “officially open Sept. 8.”
Many of the industry stakeholders in the state have yet to provide further information, though. The Kansas Lottery, which regulates gambling in the state, provided confirmation on Thursday afternoon during a press conference.
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly gave a statement in a press release on Aug. 18:
“Legalizing sports betting is a common-sense solution that keeps Kansans’ money in Kansas and drives business to sporting events, casinos, restaurants and other entertainment venues. I want to thank all our partners for working with us to get this done in time for football season.”
Potential launch date for Kansas sports betting
At this time, there are still more questions than answers when it comes to the launch of legal wagering on sporting events in Kansas. However, there is reason to believe that the onset of September will bring at least some Sunflower State sportsbooks with it.
Host Alex Gold of 610 sports radio was among the first with the report on Twitter:
At least one potential sportsbook operator is ready to start accepting pre-registrations in Kansas, too.
Additionally, it seemed the Kansas Lottery coyly gave a kind of confirmation that at the very least, a press conference was happening Thursday.
During Thursday afternoon’s press conference, Kansans got the official confirmation of the rumors.
However, the otherwise smooth process so far seems to have hit a bump. Later on Thursday, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt‘s office stated it had found “significant legal issues” with the proposed regulations for sports betting in the state. The Kansas City Star reported the AG would approve the rules after the Lottery addresses those issues.
Currently, that’s all that’s for certain. There are more questions to which the answers should materialize over the next two weeks.
Who, when, and where still up in the air
Kansas’ latest gambling expansion law allows for online sports betting but at this point, there is no official word about whether a launch during the first week of September would include online sportsbooks and if so, which. Legal Sports Report shared on Aug. 12 that the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission approved regulations for sports wagering in the state.
No online sportsbook operators have yet announced that they will begin taking bets in Kansas during the first week of September or at any time, for that matter. Those announcements could be coming within the next few days.
Later on Thursday, the Butler National Corporation announced that the Lottery had approved its management contract with Bally’s and DraftKings. That opens the door to both Bally Bet and DraftKings Sportsbook online plus a retail DraftKings book at Boot Hill Casino in Dodge City. Again, though, there are no official announcements about when any of those options will be available yet.
Additionally, it’s still unknown if any of the state’s four casinos will have their physical sportsbooks ready for the first week of September. Then there’s the issue of the AG approval of the regulations. No matter how prepared any of these books are to start taking bets, that can’t happen until Schmidt signs off.
There’s a clear incentive for that all to happen quickly, though. The first week of September coincides with the beginning of the 2022 NFL season and every day of that season without live sports betting operations means missed opportunity costs.
The Chiefs begin their season on Sept. 11. Thus, even if the launch doesn’t occur until Sept. 8, that would still mean time to get bets down. Much more information is yet to come.