Kansas’ sports betting market launch is now back on track after the state’s Attorney General greenlighted regulations on gaming. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt gave full approval to the Kansas Lottery’s proposed rules on Tuesday, after having initially rejected some of the provisions earlier this month.
Schmidt had previously said the agency needed to address a series of “specific shortcomings” identified by an official review before the Lottery’s rules could be approved. These included clarifications over roles and operator responsibilities, including clarifying the definition of “virtual event” to ensure that it isn’t overbroad, encompassing other activities such as esports.
Other shortcomings included avoiding advertising that targets problem gamblers; clarifying who submits advertisements and sets house rules for sportsbooks; clarifying Kansas Lottery’s role in restricted locations where wagers may be placed; clarifying that gambling is permitted on mobile apps within the state and now just within gaming facilities; among others.
In an email to KSHB 41, a spokesperson confirmed that Schmidt approved the revised regulations on Tuesday, thus paving the way for the state to continue its road to launching legalized sports betting. Officials announced this month that sports gaming will go live September 1 through a “soft launch” at noon that day, with an official start set for September 8.
Kansas’ sports betting bill was approved by the state Legislature this spring, after years of debate, and was signed into law by Gov. Laura Kelly in May. Legalized gambling will be made available in time for the first game of the NFL season, on Sept. 8, with both mobile and retail betting already available on soft launch.
Casinos in Dodge City, Mulvane, Pittsburg and Kansas City are being granted licenses, while tribal casinos are currently working with state officials on expanded compacts to also join the market. The law imposes a 10% state tax on the bets, with a majority of the revenue earmarked for a fund to lure pro sports teams to Kansas.
Ahead of launch, gaming stakeholders have begun releasing their plans for the upcoming market. Earlier this month, Boot Hill Casino & Resort in Dodge City announced it received its Sports Wagering Management Contract approval from the Kansas Lottery. The venue has sports wagering platform agreements with DraftKings and Bally’s Corporation.
Also in anticipation of launch, operators have begun offering pre-registration bonuses to residents with DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM being the first free companies to provide such welcome offers.
According to a new projection from BetKansas.com, the Kansas sports betting market could bring in $1.78 billion dollars (or about $150 million a month) of betting handle –the amount of money in bets taken– in the first year. Kansas’ market would rank ahead of Louisiana, which averaged $142.5 million in handle per month between its Nov. 2021 launch date and June.